Great Big Sea

Road Rage

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The ascent of Celtic-based folk music in Canada is probably one of the biggest left-field phenomena around, and Road Rage proves just how far it has risen. At one point, a live album of traditional Newfoundland would have consisted of impeccable musicianship and polite but relatively subdued audience response. On Road Rage, there's plenty of instrumental skill in evidence, but the reception being given by the mostly younger crowd is almost what you'd expect for the biggest stars in the land. In a way, that's exactly what Great Big Sea is -- the other artists moving tons of records are working in an international pop medium (with heavy leanings to the U.S. market), but traditional Newfoundland music is one of the few truly Canadian sounds available. When they're not cheering, the appreciative crowd sings along with almost every song like they're anthems. Musically speaking, there are not a lot of surprises here, but the band certainly has talented musicians, and if you can put up with the crowd noise it's not a bad approximation of a greatest-hits collection.

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