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The Sounding Board by R J Lannan
RJ Lannan is the reviewer for The Sounding Board.
Other reviews from The Sounding Board by R J Lannan:
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By Innisfall
Label: Galactic Playground Music
Released 1/22/2016
Innisfall tracks
1. I Know My Love
2. All Souls Night
3. Riptide
4. My Lagan Love
5. Oro, Se Do Bheatha 'bhaile
6. Zero Gravity
7. South Wind
8. Short Way Out
9. Song of Innisfall
10. The Coolin
11. She Moved Through The Fair
12. Will You Go Lassie Go
13. The Parting Glass
If This Be The Future, Sign Me Up
A little more than a year ago I received an album from the North Texas School of Irish Music. It was called Winter Air and I liked it very much. It had talented students, great music choices, and good production values. Forward to 2016 and a new release by several of the students, this one called Innisfall. The eponymous album is a mix of Celtic, Traditional Irish and pop music. The members consist of the talents of Clio Cadence, Sarah Copus, Ireland Harber, Gracie Kennedy, and Nathan Kennedy. The instruments are customarily familiar with harp, flute, whistles, violin, pipes, and several other stringed devices. Let us review.

I Know My Love has a perky tempo as if the band couldn’t help singing on a sunny day. It is a song of jealous love, but love nonetheless. She is disappointed in the boy’s other lovers, but she clings to her love fiercely.

And still she cried, "Bonny boys are few
And if my love leaves me what will I do."

All Souls Night is very familiar to me as a song from Loreena McKennitt’s repertoire. The band covers it well, reproducing the musical nod to Yeats epic poem and a cloaked tribute to East meets West with style. Innisfall blends some good harmonies and adds a distinctive flow to the song.

Zero Gravity has an old fifties feel to it reminiscent of the 1959 hit by the Fleetwoods called “Come Softly to Me”. It is a sweet serenade featuring the voices of Ireland, Clio and Sarah. The story is of precocious love, but not without a lesson. You never know how much you will depend on a kindred heart.
"Now and then you helped me find my wings
Into the air above the ground
And this is what we've found.
Zero gravity."

South Wind, with Gracie Kennedy’s dulcet flute lead is a dreamy composition with a pastoral theme. The song has an expansive quality to it that makes it more awe-inspiring than just a simple ballad.

Short Way Out, penned by Clio Cadence is another romantic ballad that reflects the experiences of the band as they learn about their feelings. Sometimes words falter, but the music seems to speak very well.

The Coolin traditionally known as An Chúileann or the Faired Haired One features the solo violin of Nathan with mesmerizing affect. The tune may be from the 13th century, but Nathan’s rendition reminds of all the fair haired ladies we know today. Sweet, soft and a little bit sad.

Another original song on Innisfall, written by Sarah Copus is called Song of Innisfall. She has a seraphic timbre that is quite unique. It features some poignant harmonies and the light ensemble background is delightful.

Many of the songs include Randy Copus of the band 2002 on bass and he shares a producer credit with Tim Kennedy. The recording is earthy, and not electronically over produced. What I liked about the album is that every member had a shining moment and it sounds like a "swaree." Yes, even the Irish used that word to describe an evening of friends and song. Imagine a warm glow from the parlor fireplace and friends and family gathered about singing familiar tunes without cellphones and laptops in the room. I invite you to join Innisfall, who produce a new kind of "draiocht" for an evening you’ll long remember.
Rating: Good +   Good +
- reviewed by RJ Lannan on 11/30/2016
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