Lilt have been back in the studio and have just released their third album called Little Falls.  Its name comes from one of the waterfalls on the Potomac River that runs through Washington DC where Tina Eck ( flute ) and Keith Carr ( bouzouki, banjo, mandolin )  live and play a lot of their music. It’s a follow up to “Onwards” which they released in 2012 and it brings them further along the traditional road both in terms of sound and arrangements.  They push themselves into more adventurous territory with the help of Graham DeZarn, Josh Dukes, Shannon Dunne, Eileen Estes, Conor Hearn and Kristen Jones who appear on various tracks. The distinctive Lilt sound of flute and bouzouki still dominates the recording.  As with their previous recording they mix the arrangements between more pared back flute and bouzouki tracks like The Long Journey to fuller sounding tracks like Tigger’ Jokes/ The Killavil/ Castletown Connor where Graham DeZarn’s fiddle opens up a more robust exploration of the melody.

The guitar of John Dukes’s also brings a softer tone to tracks like The Warbling Robin/An Paistin Fionn with its dampened bass sound contrasting the sharpness of the whistle.  The more up tempo tracks work better giving the music an extra lift and vitality.  The inclusion of a song on the album is also a departure for Lilt.  The choice of Dirk Powell's Waterbound couldn't have been better with additional harmonies by Eileen Estes giving real warmth to the track. Like Eileen's voice, the cello of Kirsten Jones on Planxty Dermot Grogan is the difference between good and great.  The inclusion of Graham DeZarn on fiddle gives Tina another melody player to spar with, and on these tracks the music comes alive.  It’s another good outing for Lilt with their experimentation yielding great results especially on the trio and quartet numbers where the fuller sound lifts proceedings.  This gives the “spirited and cheerful” inflection to their music that is the very definition of their name. Who knows, next time out we may have Lilt the trio, based on this success.

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Comment by Tom Morley on February 4, 2014 at 3:07

Thanks for posting this review. There's such a great abundance of fine Irish trad players in the Washington DC area. When I was there a few years back I sat in on a session that included Josh Dukes (and Brendan Mulvihill). Josh was very nice to me (as an outsider) and gave me a copy of his album 'The Long Trip Home' which continues to be one of my favorites to this day. Listening to the track here at Tradconnect & the samples at cdbaby, Lilt has a great sound as well! I look forward to getting a copy.

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