Wolfe Tones

Belt of the Celts

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One of the Wolfe Tones' most traditional albums, 1993's Belt of the Celts dispenses with the electric instrumentation and stylistic experiments that the group had experimented with for the last several years, returning to a strictly traditional instrumental palette of banjos, mandolin, pipes, and other acoustic instruments, and placing their always-remarkable four-part harmonies squarely in the center of the songs. These 14 tunes are remarkably strong, from the ballads, "Bold Robert Emmett" and "The Boys of Barr Na Sraide," to the sparky social commentary of the witty "Some Say the Divil Is Dead" and "Quare Things in Dublin." As always, lead singer Tom Byrne and crew invest each of the songs with the fervor of true believers and the tenderness of born romantics. It won't change the minds of those who don't care for the Wolfe Tones' characteristic mix of Celtic folk and regional politics, but fans will be most pleased.

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