Celtic Nots

Not in the Least

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This sampler of songs from previous releases Rope Tricks and Not Music certainly illustrates the Celtic Nots' diversely influenced song choices -- from traditionally violent ballads to modern protest songs to lilting instrumentals, this has a taste of many different elements. The standout from this selection is "Eamonn's Reel/The Shepherd's Daughter," a lively instrumental pairing. Other cuts are less memorable. The intro to "Laidley Worm and the Mackerel of the Sea" goes on a bit long -- it's pretty, but it would benefit from cutting to the lyrics somewhat sooner, because it's a rather lengthy ballad to begin with. It's also one of the traditional gruesome ones, with slaying, shape changing, and the wicked stepmother being burned to death. Dramatic, but perhaps a bit much for some tastes, as "Pieces of Hate" may also be. That one is an anti-gun protest song, with Celtic instrumentals. As usual, the Celtic Nots' performances are stronger on instrumentals than vocals, as all the band members have pleasant but rather gentle voices, so even when they're belting it out, the words sound softer than other Celtic groups. In all, this sampler may err on the side of a bit too much variety. Still, variety seems to be what the Celtic Nots are about, so perhaps that's just their style.