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Posted October 1, 2010
Wonderful and imaginative arrangements!
Thomas Loefke and friends breathe life and magic into compositions both traditional and new! This music is strikingly original and satisfyingly sincere. Loefke¿s strong, heart-felt harp playing is intertwined with the soulful low whistle of Ian Melrose, the sultry singing of Kerstin Blodig, and the complimentary strumming and plucking of guitar, mandolin and bozouki, along with a background of synth and some nicely varied percussion. The variety and texture of instrumentation makes this group¿s lush sound stand out from that of many other modern Celtic bands. The result is truly an ensemble effort--rich, diverse and ever interesting. One standout song is track #1, ¿The Snowy Birch Trees,¿ composed by Loefke and arranged by Melrose and ethereal singer Kerstin Blodig. Set above a ground of simple chord progressions, melodies and harmonies weave in and out, evolving and layering upon each other in ever-new, inventive ways. For those listeners who also play, grab your instrument, find the key (sounds like B flat minor, so some players may want to tune flat or sharp to simpler fingerings) and improvise along. Or vocalize. Though full of layers, there¿s room for one or two more, and the structure is easy to follow. Like many of Loefke¿s original compositions, it pulls you in, along for the ride. The fact that the lyrics to most of the sung selections are in clearly-enunciated Gaelic (I think it¿s Gaelic, anyway, though which dialect(s) I¿m not sure) adds to the Celtic ambience of the recording. I recommend this CD to anyone who loves clever, soulful arrangements and smiles; it¿s full of both, as are the other recordings by Loefke and friends, such as their 1994 release, ¿Norland Wind¿, and their most recent one, ¿December Journey¿.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.