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Celtic Roads: Through Ireland, Scotland and Brittany

The Revels & Various Artists

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Album Review

Favoring a highly eclectic approach to traditional Celtic music, the Revels are anything but predictable on Celtic Roads. This CD finds the ensemble embracing not only the time-honored songs of Ireland and Scotland, but also the Brittany province of France. Some might find it unusual to hear French lyrics combined with Celtic melodies and harmonies on "La Mal Mariee" and "Quand J'etais Jeune," but in fact, Brittany was a place in which the French and Celtic cultures interacted with musically exciting results. Celtic Roads finds the Revels Chorus singing in three languages (English, French and Gaelic), and they never have a problem tying a wide variety of Celtic styles together. A major salute must go out to the Revels' musical director/production supervisor George Emlen, who oversees the 21-member Revels Chorus in addition to the seven-member children's chorus and no less than 15 musicians. We're talking over 40 members — it couldn't have been easy overseeing the work of that many people on this CD. But Emlen pulls it off quite nicely, providing an album that is as enriching as it is diverse. Superb.

Biography

Formed: 1971 in Cambridge, MA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Founded in 1971, Revels is not a band, but a performing arts company dedicated to teaching the community about traditional folk music from around the world via elaborate stage performances. The company was born in Cambridge, MA under the direction of author and musician John Langstaff, and over the period of three decades expanded into 11 other cities across the United States including New York City, Oakland, CA, and Evanston, IL. Revels has released a number of recordings showcasing themes as diverse...
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Celtic Roads: Through Ireland, Scotland and Brittany, The Revels
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