Album Review - Allow Céilí Band / Rince Go Maidin

This new album of Irish céilí music is just delightful. I'm used to my Irish music sounding pindrop precise, with virtuosic instrumentalists turning on a dime and weaving in and out of auditory labrynths. But this album is full of a great big joyous noise. Of course, all the instrumentalists in the Allow Céilí Band, which is based in the area of North Cork and West Limerick (specifically the village of Freemount in Cork), are absolutely top-notch, but this is music made for dancing, while most Irish trad today is made for listening. So there's a roaring drum kit in the background, the ubiquitous céilí band cowbell, and a huge mess of instruments. It's amazing they can all stay together so tightly, with 10 musicians at once! Led by teacher Con Herbert, this is a serious gigging céilí band, and in 2007 Allow won the Senior Céilí Band All-Ireland title at the Fleadh Cheoil.

The album itself, Rince Go Maidin ("Morning Dance"), seems designed to be played for céilí dancing, with tracks organized by which kind of set they fit with, so I was thinking it would likely be less fun for listening, but I was quite wrong! This album is infectious fun, and it's pretty much impossible to keep your toes from tapping while listening. By and large the tunes are mostly well known classics ("The Green Mountain", "Shores of Lough Gowna", "The Flowing Tide", "Copper Plate"), so I suppose this wouldn't be as useful for learning new tunes, but the real point here is how listenable this album of céilí music is. I'm not used to that listenability with most céilí bands, so huge kudos to Allow Céilí Band for making an album that sounds as much fun as a night of Irish dancing!

 

Allow Céilí Band. Rince Go Maidin.
2012. self-released.
 


Allow Céilí Band at the 2007 Fleadh

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