IONA is THE pan-Celtic band iof the Washington, DC metro area: Barbara Tresidder Ryan (lead vocals, bouzouki, bodhran, pieds and guitar) Bernard Argent (flute, whistles, vocals and percussion), Chuck Lawhorn (bass guitar, vocals low whistle), Jim Queen (fiddle, banjo, vocals) and Kathleen Larrick (dance, vocals), formed in 1986.
1.Les Mardi Gras/Reuben’s Train/Le Reel Béatrice 04:23
2. Willie’s Auld Trews/Fionnghuala/Tam Lin 06:22
3.Morwnad yr Ehedydd/Titrwm Tatrwm/Abergenni 04:28
4.Volviendo al Valle/Chouteira/Get You a Copper Kettle 08:37
5. Tail Toddle/The Morning Dew/The Ale is Dear 02:59
6. Seán Bháin/Chloë’s Passion 03:54
7. Les Poules Huppées/Ton Bal Eured/Tumbledown 05:58
8. Pachipi/Dans les Prisons de Nantes/Johnny’s Gone to France 04:53
9. The Trooper and the Fair Maid/Toddy MacPherson’s 04:43
10. Moirney ny Cainle/Arrane y Guilley Hesheree/St. Ives Fer Moh 04:08
11. Shetland Reels: Spootiskerry/Sleep Soond i’ da Moarnin’/Faroe Rum/Willafjord 03:58
Silver is the symbol of wisdom. It is also a term used in a certain type of voice to signify something pure and sparkling. For example, Judy Collins described the voice of Sandy Denny as ” Like Golden Silver’ because it is something you’ve never heard from anyone. Iona’s music reflects this maturity and the wealth of experience being in Celtic music for years. They have influenced other bands. And while their works are seminal, they never stopped breaking new grounds by creating fresh tunes which celebrate global diversity yet still rooted in Celtic tradition.
Silver has eleven tracks of rich musicality that will continue to echo in your soul long after the CD has been removed from the player. The pieces are woven in such a way that the album sounds seamless . The tracks play in relation to each other while maintaining that diversity of arrangements all throughout the album. It celebrates the spirit of the Celtic nations as band members perform tracks varying between vocal and instrumental.
Silver is not just the joy of tunes but also of tongues. The multilingual approach of this project is impressive. It is like being treated into a dinner of different flavours and aroma that your sense can’t help but be delighted. Throw in a dance number by Kathleen Larrick and you have a stunning live show. The DVD called Live! At the 333 has been released. note: The video was recorded live with no retakes or overdubs.
The tracks :
Les Mardi Gras/Reuben’s Train/Le Reel Béatrice which is the first track makes use of the percussive power of the French language based in Quebec.
Willie’s Auld Trews/Fionnghuala/Tam Lin is a Scottish medley of lively instrumentals and a puirt-a-beul vocal track based on the Hebridean tradition.
Morwnad yr Ehedydd/Titrwm Tatrwm/Abergenni takes us into the mystery of the Welsh tradition.
Volviendo al Valle/Chouteira/Get You a Copper Kettle is a medley of Bolivian/Galician and Bluegrass music.
Tail Toddle/The Morning Dew/The Ale is Dear takes us into the marriage of Trad Scottish/Irish and of course Robert Burns.
Seán Bháin/Chloë’s Passion is a Scot tune along with a suggestive Irish tune. All translations can be found in the band’s website.
Les Poules Huppées/Ton Bal Eured/Tumbledown takes us into a buffet of French, Breton and Irish instrumental music.
Pachipi/Dans les Prisons de Nantes/Johnny’s Gone to France takes an adventurous dip into Breton and Irish tunes. This track tells of a prisoner of Nantes(which you might have originally heard from Tri Yann).
The Trooper and the Fair Maid/Toddy MacPherson’s all Trad Scot divided between the first which is a vocal track and then segued into the second half which is instrumental.
Moirney ny Cainle/Arrane y Guilley Hesheree/St. Ives Fer Moh all frolicking into the Manx side of the Celtic musical culture. Impressive vocal harmonies there!
Shetland Reels: Spootiskerry/Sleep Soond i’ da Moarnin’/Faroe Rum/Willafjord celebrates the music of Shetland and Cape Breton fiddling styles.
It is hard to pick a favorite track because everything is impressive. I know trad music lovers must have heard some of these tracks performed by other artists but Iona gives them something refreshing and unique.