Thursday, December 8, 2011

CD Review: Shantalla's 'Turas'

Appel Records

Belgium is a land of Irish and Scottish music, right? Well, Shantalla is a Belgium-based band composed of mostly Irish band members, and some Scottish representation by vocalist, bodhran, and shakers player, Helen Flaherty. Helen is accompanied by Joe Hennon on guitars; Michael Horgan on uilleann pipes, flute, low and high whistles; Gerry Murray on accordion and low and high whistles; Kieran Fahy on fiddle and viola; and Simon Donnelly on guitars and bouzouki. All tunes are arranged by Shantalla and feature traditional melodies and rhythms. However, most of the songs are instrumental and possess a characteristic Celtic and Scottish tone throughout. The mandolin brightens things up on "The Boy and the Princess." In fact, even Mongolian throat-singing appears on "Johnny Doherty's." Overall, Shantalla amazes the listener with jingly, folk tunes and classic vocals. Perfect for fans of Celtic, Scottish, and folk music. Also, Belgian fans will love it. ~ Matthew Forss

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