Reel Feelings

Bealtaine

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This is an impressive independent debut from the East German band Reel Feelings. While many folk-rock and Celtic-rock bands emerged from Germany in the '90s, an inordinate number of them were alternative in nature, adopting Pogues or Oysterband likenesses. Reel Feelings has separated themselves from that pack by opting for a more "classic" sound รก la Horslips, Steeleye Span, and to some extent, Capercaillie. Lead singer Kerstin Braun has a voice similar to Connie Dover, but of equal or greater value are her writing, arranging, and instrumental contributions. Lead guitarist Heiko Schloley interjects occasional rock muscle with his John Fean-like riffs, but he never dominates any of the tracks, allowing for clear and precise acoustic instrumental passages. Braun's arrangements pay as much respect to the traditional origins of many of these songs as do their newfound modern adaptations. However, the blueprint for "Maire's Wedding" was borrowed from the 1988 Van Morrison and Chieftains collaboration Irish Heartbeat.

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