Traditional Irish Music
Tonnta Ceoil are a three piece group from Clare featuring Mark Burke on accordion, Shane Coughlan on flute, whistles and vocals and Gavin Coughlan on guitar, keyboards, low whistle and vocals. All accomplished musicians they bring their traditional and youthful rock and pop influences to a record that is amazingly cohesive despite the mix. On the traditional side Tonnta Ceoil are a new force in focused, high energy, traditional music. For just three musicians they have a very full sound as evidenced on the opening One Sue set that includes O’ Sullivans March/Sliabh Russell/The Mouse in the Mug. They supplement some tracks with additional whistle and keyboard from Shane and Gavin, giving the arrangements a more rounded, fuller feel. Mark Burke’s accordion drives the well-known tune Music For a Found Harmonium with passion and feeling and they follow it with a very lively Moving Cloud and then Trip to Cullenstown.
On the vocal side they handle they Johnny Duhan’s The Voyage and The Bee Gees, The First of May very well. Bruce Springsteen’s Should I Fall Behind veers a little too close to country for my liking and the Dylan/Secor composition Wagon Wheel as popularised by Nathan Carter is handled well despite its general overplay. It’s a brave combination that works exceedingly well and will work even better in a live context you would imagine. There will be a further move towards the inclusion of what could be considered non traditional songs on traditional albums and only time will tell if it works or not. For now Tonnta Ceoil have remained true to their influences and have delivered a fine recording in the process.
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