Musique Celtic

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There's never any reason to complain when a new young band comes on the Celtic music scene, especially when the bandmembers are enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and have chops like nobody's business. When the group also boasts a singer with a voice of limpid, crystalline beauty, so much the better. So it would be churlish to criticize this Quebecois group for not bringing enough of its own regional heritage to its debut album, but the fact that it doesn't really turns out to be a slight disappointment. With their 1993 album, The Orange Tree, Andre Marchand and Grey Larsen demonstrated how richly rewarding a Celtic-Quebecois fusion project can be, and if Rosheen had seen fit to throw a few more of Eastern Canada's uniquely gorgeous dance tunes into these sets of Irish standards, it would have only strengthened this program. Even without that added musical dimension, though, this is a very enjoyable album -- along with rollicking renditions of favorite tunes like "Morrison's Jig" and "Star of the County Down," there are some very fine original numbers, most notably fiddler and pianist Dominic Painchaud's brilliant "Taming the Steed," and the songs featuring vocalist Lynn Vallieres are high points of the program as well. Recommended.

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