|New Celtic Music||aniar records|
SOULSTICE Hear what critics and
listeners are raving about. "genius" "utterly brilliant" "sensitively and ingeniously reharmonized...
with hauntingly affecting results"
Hear what critics and listeners are raving about.
"sensitively and ingeniously reharmonized... with hauntingly affecting results"
Aniar means from the west in Irish Gaelic and has traditional renewal associations. Featuring Eamonn Flynn on B3 organ (from the "The Commitments" movie soundtrack), acclaimed NEA recipient Todd Denman on uilleann pipes, All-Ireland Fiddler Tina Lech, special guests Patrick Sky and singer Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, and more.
"Soulstice is an unlikely fusion of R&B,
gospel, and Irish music that sounds so natural and obvious it
makes you wonder where this music has been all this time. Denman
and Flynn have sensitively and ingeniously reharmonized trad Irish... and with hauntingly affecting results.
I can't describe how strongly it feels like home to me. Even
if it doesn't affect you the same way, it's delightful and worthy
of your attention."
"What is without equal, is the utterly
brilliant juxtaposition of old and new in a way that is seamless
and bewitchingly natural. Until you hear this band, you will
never know what the genius of a fortuitous alliance of talented
musicians can do."
"The Irish word 'aniar' translates as 'west,' which explains
the name of the new quartet assembled by veteran San Francisco uilleann
piper Todd Denman. Soulstice, by Todd Denman & Aniar, has
a rich and creative fusion sound. Centered around Denman's vibrant
piping and Tina Lech's nimble fiddle, this mostly instrumental disc
also introduces the Hammond B3 organ to a role in traditional music
at the hands of Dublin native Eamonn Flynn, adding clever touches
of 1960s Motown soul sound. Guitar whiz Flynn Cohen rounds out the
group. The material is mostly pulsating, uptempo medleys of jigs and
reels, while the title track is a moody, improvisational slow air
with pipes and organ sharing resonant leads."
"Eamonn's delightful energy, mercurial shifts of mood, and sensitivity to his musical surroundings whisks this band into the 21st Century. ...It's just that he is so good about being his own R&B self that he never seems out of place - even backing up jigs and reels... He's a genius."
"There are plenty of other attempts to interpret 'traditional' music. They are well-intentioned and well-executed but fail to touch in so powerful a way as this offering does. It is one thing to paste contemporary idioms upon a traditional tune, it is a far different thing to penetrate the essence of and discover its natural path to the present."
"The other half of Aniar's foundation is the straight-ahead, dead-on musicianship of Flynn Cohen's guitar work. His driving rhythms and modal tuning project exactly the needed co-conspiratorial [spirit] to Eamonn's more fluid, rhythmic and harmonic landscape of passing tones and sweeping chord progressions."
"Todd, who has already released three CDs... is well established as one of America's finest pipers. Todd's statement is refreshingly lucid and makes it all seem so natural and right.""Todd has performed with the best Irish musicians around, Tina Lech is an All-Ireland Fiddler... These two are so charged with a natural command of their craft that you can't imagine it being presented any other way. Certainly not any better. Tina plays the fiddle with tremendous charm and subtlety of expression. Her sinewy and sensual delivery of the Lads of Laois (laid on top of Eamonn's urbane and down-and-dirty organ riffs) holds back the tempo to allow the interplay of downbeat and backbeat to achieve a most mystifying effect. She follows a poignant and reflective March 6 with the Oak Tree -- one of the mightiest fiddle tunes... Her phrasing is so playful and witty in that typically Irish way, that you are swept away before you know it, and never want it to end."
"What stands out in this recording is how well they blend together.
...They each approach their work with energy, conviction, humility
and above all, out of reverence for the total outcome. ...their true
message traditional music is beautiful to the core and speaks
to us even today."
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