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On Christmas Night

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Album Review

Christmas music lends itself so well to Celtic instrumentation that it's virtually impossible not to get caught up in the spirit of the season. The Irish-American quintet Cherish the Ladies, originally conceived for a concert series by Mick Maloney for the Ethnic Folk Arts Center and the National Endowment for the Arts, tackles the crowded yuletide release onslaught with a warmth and elegance that should find the delightful On Christmas Night a popular holiday favorite for years to come. Standards like "Silent Night," "Little Drummer Boy," and "Oh Little Town of Bethlehem" are reverent and unpretentious, allowing lead singer Heidi Talbot's fluid tenor to soar, while regional classics like "Henry Roe McDermott/The Holly and the Berry" and "Ding Dong Merrily on High/The Cordal Jig/Old Apples in Winter/Con Cassi" showcase the group's exquisite musicianship. Holiday records, especially of the Celtic variety, have become a dime a dozen, but Cherish the Ladies, with their quiet passion for the material and refusal to paint the ten tracks with thick gobs of keyboard and studio trickery, have made an intoxicating jug of punch that merits repeated visits.

Biography

Genre: World

Years Active: '00s

One of the most highly regarded and sought-after Irish-American groups in Celtic music, the all-female collective Cherish the Ladies formed in the early '90s as a onetime concert band by folklorist/musician Mick Moloney. Their heady blend of stellar musicianship, breathtaking singing, and lively step dancing soon won them fans all over the world, resulting in a string of ten critically acclaimed records, the most recent of which is 2005's Woman of the House. The group, consisting of longtime leader...
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On Christmas Night, Cherish the Ladies
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