Sometimes a group just goes along, quietly and capably producing enjoyable music in their local region. Wherligig is like that. It's a family band out of Finksburg, MD: husband Ken Koons on guitar, tin whistle, bones, bodhran, and Scottish small pipes; wife Stephanie Koons on hammered dulcimer, neo-Celtic harp, harmonium, and bodhran; her brother Mark Yount on mandolin, octave mandolin, and guitar; and son Ry Koons joining in on tin whistle. Wherligig has been playing since 1985, yet they have only released one album as of 2001, Wherligig: Beyond the Beck. It is an amiable and ear-pleasing collection, with a mix of vocal and instrumental selections. While the instrumentals featuring hammer dulcimer, guitar, and mandolin are their most vibrant performances, as on "Nancy, Hesleyside Reel, Princess Royal" and "Jenny's Welcome to Charlie," the lightly lilting whistles on "Killiecrankie'" are enjoyable as well. Ken Koons provides the lead vocals, and gives a strong, full-voiced performance on "Maid on the Shore." He also offers a nice bit of a cappella work on "Donkey Riding," with support from the rest of the group on the choruses. In all, this album is a gently agreeable listen and a pleasant addition to the field of Celtic music.
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