Friday, August 19, 2011

Téada's "Ceol & Cuimhne": Music Review

Téada in Irish means strings, ceol music, and cuimhne memory. These three words sum them up: they play traditional sounds, they express their heritage. Yet, the music stays fresh.

Oisín MacDiarmada’s fiddle heads this instrumental ensemble. As on his solo recordings, he blends regional trends, as liner notes document. This Sligo-based band stands at the crossroads between Galway and Donegal. They merge bolder Northern with softer Western approaches. For a non-Irish listener, fiddle-dominated Sligo sounds may seem familiar—its musicians emigrated to command dance halls abroad. This music tends towards a peppier high-stepping lilt.

Therefore, it’s perfect for kicking your own feet up. It might have benefited from more of Damien Stenson’s flute to offset the reliance on fiddle with Paul Finn’s accordion, but it’s a sure-footed release from one of Ireland’s top groups. Téada shows skill in straightforward, direct styles free of studio trickery or synthesized adornment, and for that, listeners will be thankful. (Posted to Amazon US 5-12-10; also as a capsule review for Pop Matters 6-10-10.)

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