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Good People All - A Celtic Yuletide Tradition

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Album Review

Although its focus is traditional Celtic Yuletide music, Magical Strings is actually an American band from Seattle. Good People All is very much a family affair; its members all belong to the Boulder family, including parents Philip (Celtic harp, hammered dulcimer, pennywhistles) and Pam (hammered dulcimer, lyre), and their five children Geoffrey (violin), Brenin (cello), Morgan (harmonium), Marshall (Celtic harp) and Brittany (violin). This is definitely a Christmas album, but you won't find "Jingle Bell Rock," "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town," or any other 20th century Christmas pop tunes here. Rather, Magical Strings favors an entirely instrumental approach and sticks to traditional Yuletide songs from Ireland ("March of the Songs," "Love Came Down at Christmas," "Good People All"), England ("O Little Town of Bethlehem," "All Through the Night"), and elsewhere. Some of the songs didn't actually originate on the British Isles: "Still, Still, Still" and "Let Me Count the Stars" are German songs, while "What Is This Fragrance?" is French. Although members of the Boulder family aren't stunning and don't qualify as all-time masters of Celtic music, this is a likable CD that has a lot of charm.


Formed: 1978

Genre: World

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Classical, folk, jazz and Celtic music are blended into the atmospheric sounds of Seattle-based duo, Magical Strings. Although their arrangements center around Celtic harp and hammered dulcimer, Magical Strings makes their music come alive with the addition of a world-wide sampling of other instruments. Magical Strings represents the joint efforts of husband and wife, Philip and Pam Boulding. Since meeting when Pam was a student in a hammered dulcimer taught by Phillip in 1978, the Bouldings have...
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Good People All -  A Celtic Yuletide Tradition, Magical Strings
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