Lowlands

Lowlands

by Susan McKeown
     
 
The bold Susan McKeown does the New York Irish community proud with this colorful set of ballads. Whether Scottish or Irish, in English or Gaelic, old or new, her taste is for the sad, the wistful, and the bitter, with the occasional triumph of the spirit that drops some honey on the lemon. Her gifted musical compatriots come from all over the world: New York,

Overview

The bold Susan McKeown does the New York Irish community proud with this colorful set of ballads. Whether Scottish or Irish, in English or Gaelic, old or new, her taste is for the sad, the wistful, and the bitter, with the occasional triumph of the spirit that drops some honey on the lemon. Her gifted musical compatriots come from all over the world: New York, Ireland, Spain, India, Mali, and China, and while each makes a unique contribution, the Celtic tradition of choosing personally meaningful tunes handed down from inspirational balladeers goes on undiminished. Indeed, McKeown, who dropped out of an Irish opera academy to wander the streets of Dublin, has chosen well: Tales of exile, rescue, infanticide, emergency cannibalism, and hares cornered by the hounds are all archetypal Celtic fare. Perhaps the most stunning cut is her a cappella version of "Dark Horse on the Wind" by Liam Weldon, a brilliantly concise, heartbreaking expression of the bleak, continual struggle that is Ireland. McKeown sings it with great beauty and total conviction. And as they say, the further from Ireland one gets, the more Irish one becomes.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Rick Anderson
Susan McKeown is an Irish folk musician with an unusually diverse resume. She has made albums of original music and albums of traditional songs, including a stunning collection of seasonal tunes entitled Through the Bitter Frost and Snow, on which the primary instruments were McKeown's voice and Lindsey Horner's string bass. She has also collaborated with numerous musicians from traditions both within and without the Celtic the world, and her music has been used in TV commercials for products as diverse as facial cream and automobiles. At this point, the only really surprising thing she could have done would have been to make a primarily traditional Irish album, which is exactly what she's done with the beautiful Lowlands. Granted, the instrumentation is frequently unusual -- on the haunting "Dark Horse on the Wind" she's accompanied by banjo and erhu (a Chinese bowed instrument), and on "Bonny Greenwoodside" she plays finger cymbals while others play the tabla and caxixis. But the songs are very definitely from the Irish tradition, and her delivery is as hair-raising as ever. Highlights include the slightly flamenco-flavored "Slan agus Beannacht (Goodbye and Farewell)" and the anguished, a capella "Dark Horse on the Wind." Highly recommended.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/26/2000
Label:
Green Linnet
UPC:
0048248120524
catalogNumber:
481205
Rank:
263643

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Susan McKeown   Primary Artist,finger cymbals
Glen Moore   Acoustic Bass
Greg Anderson   Bouzouki
John Anthony   Caxixi
Johnny Cunningham   Fiddle
Matt Darriau   Bass,Clarinet,Bass Clarinet,kaval,Irish Flute,Gaita
Trevor Hutchinson   Acoustic Bass
Joanie Madden   Human Whistle,Whistle (Instrument),Low Whistle
Ole Mathisen   Clarinet
Todd Schietroma   Hand Clapping,Caxixi,Shaker,Cahones
Jamshied Sharifi   Synthesizer
Oliver Strauss   Hand Clapping
Michelle Kinney   Cello
Gerry Leonard   Guitar,Guitar Loops
Samir Chatterjee   Tabla
Kevin Crawford   Human Whistle
Moore   Guitar
Sean Smyth   Fiddle
Aidan Brennan   Guitar
Donogh Hennessy   Guitar
Mamadou Diabate   Kora

Technical Credits

Susan McKeown   Arranger,Producer,translation
Scott Noll   Engineer
Jamshied Sharifi   Producer,Wind Arrangements
Oliver Strauss   Engineer
Cathal Goan   translation
Donogh Hennessy   Producer

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