At 01:21 PM 11/30/98 -0500, Dale Dahl wrote:
>Does anyone care to do a review of the Irish musical groups DANU & KILA?
>What is there instrumention, etc? Are they traditional? I know HMT carries
>two KILA CD's, but I didn't see DANU listed in the catalog. Can it be
>ordered from HMT or elsewhere?
This was my review of Danu's first album, which was new enough that it
didn't make it into the last edition of the HMT catalog:
DANU: DANU (Danú). There have been rumors floating around about these new
wonderkids on the block and, having heard such inflated rumors before about
Oige, I was prepared to be disappointed. For the most part, though, the high
praise was well deserved. These kids can play--and you need to when you
tackle tunes like "The Contradiction" or "The Independent Hornpipe."
Especially impressive are flute player Tom Doorley, who learned from Vincent
Broderick, box player Brendan McCarthy, who studied with Bobby Gardiner, and
fiddler Daire Bracken, whose mentors include Eddie Kelly and Sean
Montgomery. Other members include Donnchadh Gough (uilleann pipes, bodhrán),
Timmy Murray (guitar), Eammon Doorley (bouzouki, fiddle), and Carthach Mac
Craith (vocals). Because of the instrumentation, the group at times sounds
like a green Dervish--not quite as tight nor as imaginative with the
arrangements. Gough's piping introduces an interesting touch in the
instrumental mix, especially on the "Fraher's/An Tiocfaidh Tu Abhaile Liom"
jig set. Mac Craith's singing, while excellent, amounts to two solo tracks
and therefore does not feel like an integral part of the band's sound. The
guitar, bouzouki, and bodhrán accompaniment is quite good overall but lacks
variety (the bodhrán player should get a rest sometime). There is a truly
bad moment on the track featuring the great reel "Sailing Into Walpole's
Marsh" (one of my all-time favorites), where the bouzouki's chords are, to
use a friend's expression, clue-free. But this is an isolated "incident"
which is out of character with the rest of this impressive first effort from
this brand new band. Stay tuned, Danu will probably make more noise.
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