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Celtic Music from Wales

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Album Review

Welsh music is usually associated with the traditional triple harp. But the reality is much broader, and Ffynnon is one of the bands nibbling and pushing at the bounds of Welsh folk music, confounding expectations along the way. Just a trio, the instrumental duties fall to bassist/guitarist Dave Reid, who uses his bass in a very unconventional way, often as the lead voice in a piece, and keyboardist Stacey Blythe, who frequently prefers the staid tones of the piano, giving a neo-ceilidh feel to the music. Singer Lynne Denman, originally from England, is certainly Welsh by adoption, twisting her tongue easily around the language in a voice that sounds blessed. Together, they create a unique, spare sound, highlighted by Reid's strong melodic sense on a mix of traditional and original material, including some instrumentals that work powerfully well, like Reid's "Y Rhaeadr," with its calmly virtuosic fingering. But it's the vocal songs that stand out the most, such as "Pais Dinogad," whose cascading vocal line is reminiscent of Scots mouth music at times. An adventurous debut from a band with something to say.

Celtic Music from Wales, Ffynnon
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