Birch Creek Band,
Celtic Enchantment
(Cabinfever, 2010)

You can't complain that there's not enough music here. Celtic Enchantment gives us 16 Celtic instrumentals, ranging from recently composed pieces to "The Foggy Dew," all arranged and played by the New England sextet, the Birch Creek Band.

The song choices are mostly excellent and the band's instrumentation is traditional; guitars, dulcimers, flutes and uilleann pipes abound, and these musicians know their way around their instruments.

They play these songs with love and respect, emphasizing the beauty of the tunes, the haunting, shimmering quality that Celtic music has, so that it reminds you of tiny faery creatures frolicking in trees. It's all very gentle and polite, an almost classical approach to the music.

And that is both the strength and the weakness of the CD. Yes, the music is pretty and, yes, it is pleasant to listen to, but after a while, you begin to yearn for more than pleasant. Celtic music is both beautiful and strong; like a good glass of Jameson's, it goes down easily but has a kick to it.

With Celtic Enchantment, even as you enjoy what the Birch Creek Band has put together, you occasionally find yourself wishing the band had emphasized the kick just a little more.

music review by
Michael Scott Cain

8 January 2011

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