Loreena McKennitt: The Wind That Shakes The Barley

By Kevin Hedgehog
If you are looking for ear shattering, mind numbing, metal tinged volume then this album is definitely NOT for you. But if being swept along by a gentle wind of traditional celtic airs with strong vocals spinning tales of loves lost and won, then you will find this album an aural delight.

Canadian singer/harpist Loreena McKennitt has been recording for a quarter of a century, and has delved into a fusion of folk, pop and world. This album, however, finds her returning to her original Celtic roots with interpretations of classic Scottish, Irish and English favourites. Also in the mix are lesser known traditional songs such as “The Death Of Queen Jane”, a tale about the third wife of Henry VIII, Jane Seymour.

There are two instrumental tracks on the album including “The Emigration Tunes”, an original piece based on an Gorta Mór (The Great Hunger or as we know it, The Potato Famine) of the mid 1800s, and the links between Ireland and Canada.

None better though than the opening song, “As I Roved Out” in which McKennitt’s haunting voice soars to the heavens, taking the willing listener with her on every note. If that doesn’t win you over then it’s back to the music bins in search of some more Seattle grunge.


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