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Harvest Storm

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Album Review

Altan has long been one of the most consistently thrilling of the current crop of traditional Irish groups, and it's difficult to pick a single highlight from their catalog. But if pressed, many fans and critics would pick either Harvest Storm or the equally fine Red Crow. Although the program is a fairly typical collection of traditional reel sets, jigs, Gaelic songs, and slow airs, every track feels as if it were chosen for a unique sort of loveliness — the soaring beauty of the "Rosses Highlands" set, the curiously eerie hush of the traditional wedding song "Dónal Agus Mórag," the chugging energy of "Drowsy Maggie." The singing of fiddler Maighread Ní Mhaonaigh is particularly noteworthy on "Donal Agus Morag" and "'Si Do Mhaimeo Í" (the latter of which offers the unusual opportunity to hear a didgeridoo part on an Irish album). This is one of the last albums the group made with flutist Frankie Kennedy, who died of cancer after making one more album with them, the excellent Island Angel.

Customer Reviews

Harvest Storm

Altan is the very essence of Irish music. This album is so much fun to listen to. If you are unsure if you wil like Altan, just listen to a sample of Donal Agus Morag (about the wedding party for Donald and Maureen).

Still Storming After All These Years

I bought this years ago (on cassette!) because I liked the title and the cover. I had never heard of Altan or heard Celtic music, for that matter. By the time side two (remember sides?) finished, I was mesmerized.
I've heard a lot of fine fiddling since, but never any better than this.
I highly recommend this as a starting point or any point along your musical journey.
If "Donal Agus Morag" doesn't get your toe tappin', you may not have a pulse.
Check out the Green Linnet samplers, too, if you can find them. There's a lot of good stuff there!

Biography

Formed: 1983 in Ireland

Genre: World

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

With their Northern Ireland-style twin fiddling and accordion melodies accented by acoustic guitar and bouzouki, Altan has grown into one of the top traditional bands in Ireland. The inspiration for Altan was sparked when Donegal-born fiddler and vocalist Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh met Belfast-born flute player Frankie Kennedy. Ní Mhaonaigh had learned the traditional style of fiddling from her father, Francie, who had learned it from his mother, Roise. Influential Irish fiddler Dinny McLaughlin, who frequented...
Full Bio