Susan McKeown


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Imagine Sarah McLachlan giving herself more fully to a Celtic muse, leavened with the drier tone of, say, the more traditional June Tabor. Indeed, Bones, while remaining complex and sinuous, offers all the requisite hooks to generate the attention and airplay afforded a McLachlan, Amos or Bush, without evoking one of the many carbon copies floating around. In particular, "Snakes" smacks of a sure-chorused popular single, McKeown willfully challenging its hit potential toward the end by segueing into an emotional Gaelic rap. "Westron Wynde/Westlin Winds" delivers the kind of multi-paced, multi-faceted drama that past fans of progressive folk-rock band Renaissance pine to hear vocalist Annie Haslam record. Talented backing group the Chanting House and guests deftly fuse contemporary folk-rock with bouzouki, uilleann pipes, hurdy gurdy, bagpipes and cello without ever stealing centre stage.

Although out for some time now on McKeown's own Sheila-na-Gig imprint, Bones has recently been picked up for national distribution in the U.S. by New York's ingenious 1-800-Prime CD label -- the name is also the toll-free number which can be called from anywhere in North America to order the disc.

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