now playing: Celtic Cross: Shores of America
Shores of America
There’s long been a strong connection between New York and Ireland, one that honors the energy, tradition, and family connections on both sides of the water. There’s joy and celebration, and pain and distance and questions in the mix too. All these are here in the latest release from Celtic Cross, a band with deep roots in Irish New York. The music is mainly rock with a Celtic twist and the stories are Irish with an American twist, all of which work well together. With the exception of one set of traditional tunes and one trad melody adapted to new lyrics, all the material is original work. Kathleen Fee, the lead singer, writes most of it, including the powerful title track set in images of 9/11 and current wars. The everlasting triangle of love, emigration, and the pull of home -- whichever side of the sea that is -- are part of Fee’s Going Home and guitarist/singer Walter Ensor’s Chapel Bells. The rest of the eleven tracks are equally good, show the band’s energy and commitment well, and are well set in their driving sound. Other members of Celtic Cross include Fee’s brothers Kenneth Vesey, a champion fiddle player, and John Vesey, whose instrument is the button accordion. Frankie McCormick handle smandolin and banjo in the band, Patrick Dineen is the bassist and keyboard player, and Dave Barckow adds guitar.
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