This is the third release by the German Celtic rock outfit Fiddler's Green and is quite possibly its finest. In addition to top-notch musicianship, the band chose several seldom used traditional pieces instead of the typical Irish folk-cum-Celtic rock selections. What a relief it is to hear songs like "Lanigan's Ball," "Mermaid," and "Worker's Song" instead of the predictable "Raggle Taggle Gypsy" or "Foggy Dew." But that's only half of the picture. Lead vocalist Peter Pathos has never been sharper with his songwriting acumen. His pieces are loaded with catchy melodies, engaging rhythms, and astute English writing, the latter of which causes much difficulty for many foreign-tongued rock musicians. His "Sherwood Forest," "Rose of Ballymore," and "Shamrock Busker" all consist of traditional-oriented imagery and melodies and could feasibly pass as traditional pieces, themselves. Pathos also plays a wide range of acoustic instruments, including bouzouki, banjo, tin whistle, and mandolin. He is joined by fiddler Tobias Heindl and accordion player Stefan Klug to give Fiddler's Green its folk component, while Ralf Albers and Eric Obst provide a stable rock rhythm section. King Shepherd is an exceptionally well-produced and impeccably performed independent Celtic rock release by this German band.
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