Another Sky

Another Sky

by Altan
     
 

Donegal's Altan grew to be one of the most successful of the Irish neo-traditional bands, popularizing the music of its home county thanks to the angelic voice (and Gaelic vocals) of Maihread Ni Mhaonaigh. Altan's ascending arc was almost shattered with the 1994 death of Frankie Kennedy, the band's leader and Mhaonaigh's husband. Three albums later, the band continues… See more details below

Overview

Donegal's Altan grew to be one of the most successful of the Irish neo-traditional bands, popularizing the music of its home county thanks to the angelic voice (and Gaelic vocals) of Maihread Ni Mhaonaigh. Altan's ascending arc was almost shattered with the 1994 death of Frankie Kennedy, the band's leader and Mhaonaigh's husband. Three albums later, the band continues and ANOTHER SKY is a pretty and lush effort. The dreamy arrangements, despite their resolutely traditional base, will find fans in Celtic new agers, while the sophisticated songs make Altan a worthy successor to the Ireland's first wave of new traditionalists.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Carol Wright
Altan, a Celtic group from Donegal, Ireland, has been evolving since the early 1980s. Their sound on ANOTHER SKY is as elegant and refined as you'd want, yet with enough Irish spirit to keep a pub open after last call. The ensemble, headed by singer and fiddler Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, grew up playing old fiddle tunes and songs of Northern Ireland. Mhaonaigh's voice is high and delicate, yet whether she sings in English or in Gaelic, she conveys each ballad's story with frank power. Then when the group joins in on the chorus, their warm harmonies are as comfy as a hearth fire. Placed between the vocals are instrumental jigs, frolics, and reels that showcase the fireworks of double fiddle or Irish bouzouki (Ciaran Curran) and accordion (Dermot Byrne). Guest artists include Bonnie Raitt playing slide guitar for the ballad "The Verdant Braes of Screen," Jerry Douglas adding teary dobro notes on Bob Dylan's "Girl from the North Country," and a string quartet giving substance to the enduring "Ten Thousand Miles." A delicious album.
All Music Guide - Jonathan Widran
The whole Celtic music craze turned many opportunistic American musicians into Irish Rovers, but this joyous mix of traditional jigs and folksy tunes by six natives is the real deal. The band features two fiddlers, an accordionist, a bouzzouki player, and two guitarists, with lead vocals by Maircad Ni Mhaonaigh, switching off in mood and tempo from track to track. The opening number "Bcidh Aonach Amarach" ("There's a Fair Tomorrow") sets the tone with a festive, skipping jam featuring textured guitars with vocals sung in Gaelic (the English lyrics are in the booklet) before the fiddlers take over. The mood of most of the ballads is set on "Green Grow the Rushes," a gentle little romance featuring airy voices and a subtle accordion harmony. A nonexpert in Celtic music might not catch the swift switch between traditional jigs on the colorful medley beginning with "Gusty's Frolicks," but the intensity of the playing dares listeners to keep their toes tapping in time during the celebration. A little taste of the States enters the picture on a gentle new version of Bob Dylan's "Girl From the North Country," which features a line or two from "Scarborough Fair." Colorfully written liner notes explain both the origins of many of these tunes as well as a brief history. The album was released just in time for St. Patty's day and is the perfect annual soundtrack to the occasion.

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Product Details

Release Date:
02/28/2000
Label:
Emi Europe Generic
UPC:
0724384883829
catalogNumber:
8488382
Rank:
15461

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