Various Artists

Song of the Green Linnet

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No American label can boast a Celtic music catalog as rich and deep as Green Linnet's, and the company has demonstrated that over the years with a string of very fine compilations. This one focuses on vocal performances by such world-class solo artists as June Tabor, Niamh Parsons, and Andy M. Stewart, as well as ensembles as diverse as Celt-rockers Wolfstone, Scots harmony masters the Tannahill Weavers, and modern Scots supergroup Capercaillie. The highlights are many: Niamh Parsons is given two slots, which was a wise programming move, her renditions of "Bonny Woodhall" and "Kilnamartyra Exile" just about steal the show. The Green Fields of America deliver a rousing and hilarious ode to homemade whiskey, entitled "Stick to the Craythur," while June Tabor exhibits her growing tendency towards art song with an elaborately arranged medley consisting of "The Water is Wide," "St. Agnes," and "Jeannie and Jamie." Wolfstone turns in an uncharacteristically restrained performance on "Till I Sleep." There's hardly an item in the Green Linnet catalog that isn't worth picking up, and this compilation is a great place to start.

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