FFynnon, Celtic Music of Wales (Green Linnet GLCD1221, 2003)
Somewhere in the mid 90s I became a traitor to my Celtic heritage – I got sick and tired of Celtic music. I know, I know. Shame on me. All those over-produced, sappy renditions of traditional folk tunes started to sound the same to me and I quit listening. So when I got handed a Celtic CD to review, I eyed it with dread.
Thankfully I can admit that Ffynnon’s Celtic Music From Wales on the Green Linnet label was pleasant surprise. Ffynnon is comprised of Lynne Denman on vocals and bodhrán; Stacey Blythe on keyboard, accordion and vocals; and David Reed on six-string bass guitar, keyboard and vocals.The CD varies from sweet to sultry and doesn’t cover up the group’s sound with over production. The spare instrumentation of this CD allows the vocals to blossom. The sometimes bright keyboard work, coupled with bodhrán and accordion, offers that familiar Celtic mystery without lapsing into the cliché, with the chunky play of the six-string bass guitar lending a moody element to the mix.
Tracks like “Felton Lonnin” and “Ty Crwn” are chock full of Celtic charm. “Beth yw’r Haf” and “Dacw Nghariad” ignite the Celtic influence with some jazzy elements. It’s the six-string bass guitar that charges tracks “Chwaer Mari” and “Le Petit Cordonier” with a funky backdrop. For traditionalists, “Aros Mae” is a breathtaking vocal piece that captures the Celtic soul.
Ffynnon’s Celtic Music from Wales is an enticing work and proof that it’s safe for traitors like me to return to the tribe.
TJ Nelson is also a fiction writer. Check out her latest book, Chasing
<http://www2.xlibris.com/bookstore/bookdisplay.asp?bookid=34163>. Set in
Pineboro, North Carolina, Chasing Athena’s Shadow follows the adventures
of Grace, an adult literacy teacher, as she seeks to solve a long
forgotten family mystery. Her charmingly dysfunctional family is of
little help in her quest. Along with her best friends, an attractive
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memory that holds the key to why Grace’s great-grandmother, Athena, shot
her husband on the courthouse steps in 1931. Traversing the line between
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uncover Athena’s true crime.