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The idea of fusing Celtic musical traditions with those of other ethnic cultures isn't exactly a new one -- bands like Mouth Music, Black 47, and the Afro Celt Sound System have all been doing just that in various ways for years. But the New York-based band Whirligig does it in a way that is both more adventurous and less self-promoting than most. When they add subtle drum programming, a clarinet obbligato, and a horn section to Lisa Moscatiello's exquisite singing on "A Fair Maid Walking," it doesn't sound like they're trying to be cute; it sounds like they've hit upon a perfect arrangement and simply weren't bothered by the fact that the clarinet has no traditional role in Irish music. And "Mood Vertigo," a tune written by guitarist Paul Kovit shortly after he purchased a home in County Donegal, draws at least as heavily on Klezmer modes and rhythms as it does on Irish ones, to delightful effect. That's just two tracks out of ten, each of which is almost equally refreshing and attractive. Highly recommended.

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