Various Artists

Celtic Tides

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One of the earlier entries in Putumayo's extensive catalogs, Celtic Tides is a collection of relatively expansive works of modern Celtic music pre-dating at least some of the craze in Celtic sounds that would come in the years to follow. The sounds here range from the well-known old guard members (the Rankin Family, the Chieftains, Clannad) to the slightly newer, slightly more forward-reaching (Altan, Natalie MacMaster) to the lesser-known (Seamus Egan, Dougie MacLean). Along with the progression through the years of development of modern Celtic, there is the geographic development, with artists from Ireland and Scotland certainly, but also the Cape Breton traditions from Canada and even the odd Californian traditionalists. The music is excellent throughout, with standout performances from the Old Blind Dogs (on the more traditional end) and Capercaillie (in the realm of fusion). Overall, it's a nice, relaxed collection of Celtic sounds that relies more on the sheer musical abilities of the groups rather than the stereotypical sounds that veer in and out of authentic grounds. Certainly worth a listen for fans of the genre, but also a nice point to start explorations for newcomers.

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