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The 10th Anniversary Compilation

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Album Review

Groups that attempt Celtic folk-rock fusion generally go at it from one of two angles: they either take the punk rock approach (the Pogues, Black 47, the Oyster Band, etc.) or the prog-rock approach (Jethro Tull, Wolfstone, etc.). Tempest takes the latter, and the result, if mixed, is generally rewarding. For this ten-year retrospective, the band rearranged and re-recorded some of their fans' favorite songs, which include some great instrumentals ("Milligan's Fancy," "The Sleeping Highlander") and a bunch of fair-to-very-good traditional and original numbers. "You Jacobites By Name" is a stirring old Scottish song lamenting the havoc and bloodshed wreaked by the Jacobite Rebellion; "Queen of Argyll" is a love song written by Silly Wizard alumnus Andy Stewart, and "Hal-AnTow" deals with pagan holidays and Robin Hood, believe it or not. Everything is underpinned with crunchy guitars and aggressive rock arrangements, and it all sounds great except for one or two unnecessarily long solos and Lief Sorbye's rather weak singing (his mandolin playing is excellent, though).

Biography

Formed: 1972

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s

Tempest has a band name that might suggest a group of sneering, leather-wearing, head-banging metal heads, but the group's music is less threatening and more expansive than its name suggests. Tempest plays traditional Celtic music with a rock & roll intensity that's accented by a wide range of influences from the blues to American country music, Cajun 2-steps, and Arabic music, with some old-time San Francisco psychedelic flair. It's a mix bandleader Lief Sorbye calls "Celtodelic". The band's music,...
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The 10th Anniversary Compilation, Tempest
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