The Arc Music label's two-disc collection The Ultimate Guide to Irish Folk provides a well-curated look at modern Celtic music. In a genre that has broadened to include almost anything that features a fiddle or tin whistle, there is quite a bit of material to choose from. While much of the music here can't quite be considered traditional, the collection is peppered with enough old-school folk scene veterans to balance out the more progressive fare. Tracks by traditional stalwarts like the Bothy Band, Altan, and the Dubliners appear alongside more pop-oriented acts like Lou McMahon and the Screaming Orphans. There are a few missteps that veer too far into the world of Celtic
ew age schmaltz, but as a whole, this is a decent introduction to both classic Irish folk music and some of genre's better contemporary artists.