Music Review: Irish Ways

The heyday of Irish music in the U.S. might have passed in the 1990s, but the genre has undeniable staying power, as evidenced by acts coming to the Chandler Center for the Arts: We Banjo 3 on Feb. 4, 2023 and Rhythm of the Dance on Feb. 26, 2023. Get into the Irish spirit with Irish Ways: Music & Song of Ireland on Freegal.

This compilation, originally a two-disc set from the Irish heritage label Celtic Airs, features a broad range of traditional music. Instrumentals like the opener “Maggie’s Lilt” are strongly represented, and reel sets like “Sean Reid’s/The Drunken Landlady” pick up the pace with the classic arrangement of fiddles and tin whistles. The dance tunes get some variation with the more orchestral setting of “Dreamcatcher” and the modal sound of “The Snow and the Frost are All Over,” and vocal tunes in both Irish (“Amhrán Pheadar Breathnach”) and English (“The Rocky Road to Dublin”) also add different sounds. Other vocal selections represent frequent Irish themes like rebellion (“The Wind that Shakes the Barley”) and immigration to America (“Michael Conway”). We Banjo 3 make an appearance with the dance set “Martin Wynn’s #2/Martin Wynn’s #1/The Coalminer Reel,” featuring the band’s defining “Celtgrass” sound of banjo, fiddle, guitar and mandolin at an easygoing pace. Log in to Freegal with your library card and PIN numbers, preview the songs by pressing the arrow on the album cover icon next to each song title, and download some music that will sweep you away to the green shores of Ireland. - Michelle (Sunset)

Irish Ways on Freegal

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