Image © 1999
Celtic Fire Music
Front Cover Closeup
Image © 1999
Celtic Fire Music
(21 May 2000) Linda Rutherford &
Celtic Fire's already well-acclaimed 10-track second album
is entitled Flames Of Eviction
(Celtic Fire (USA) FOE-10CD, 1999).
This initial concise review will be expanded into a feature when our
exclusive Musical Discoveries interview with the artists and review
of the band's debut album Stop The Rain are completed.
Formed in 1995 and based in Hilton, NY (northwest of central Rochester)
and fronted by the stunning vocalist, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist,
Linda Rutherford the band also includes family members
Tony (accordian, keyboards, vocals),
Johnny (drums) and
Rosheen (electric and acoustic
guitars). Linda plays fiddle, mandolin, acoustic guitar, keyboards,
tin whistle, saxophone and flute.
Celtic Fire also includes
Francis White (bass) and
Don Mancuso (lead and rhythm guitars, vocals). The album's
songs are written by Rutherford family members in various
combinations. The group is managed and directed by
Bruce Pilato of
Pilato Entertainment (Asia, ELP,
Greg Lake, Carl Palmer, Tacye, Anthony
Phillips, and many others). This album's music is as wonderful as
Scott Hamilton's everso well-designed album
Celtic Fire's latest album blends traditional Irish instrumentation
and song structures with highly accessible original rock tunes. Like
The Corrs and Capercaillie, jigs and reels are often major parts of
instrumental bridges within the group's songs. Stunning vocals adorn
the majority of the rich instrumentally arranged songs on Flames Of
Eviction and are a notable step up from the debut album
according to other reviewers. With the public's growing interest
in modern interpretation of traditional folk music arising from
successful dance musicals Riverdance and Lord Of The
Dance, fans of these shows as well as Clannad, Capercaillie,
Iona, Ronan Hardiman and other progressive Celtic recording artists
are certain to enjoy Celtic Fire's music and Linda Rutherford's
Lyrical themes within the album deal with serious subjects
including domestic violence and sexual assault. The title track
sung in English and Gaelic ("An Gorta Mor") that opens the
album refers to the plight Irish citizens faced during the
devastating great Potato Famine that struck their homeland
in the 1840s. Comprised of two distinct styles—an acoustic
Crosby, Stills & Nash-style harmony and a more agressive rock
theme—the highly accessible tune typifies the depth and power
of Celtic Fire.
Upbeat Celtic-rock numbers ("I Said No" and "Nowhere to
Run") feature traditional pipe instrumentation, acoustic guitar
and lovely vocal passages laced with lots of backing vocals.
The richly arranged "King Of The Faries" is the group's rocking
transformation-featuring accordian—of an old Celtic reel and
Irish set dance. The album's serious vocally-laced rockers
("What I Am," "Vengeance" and "I Believe") combine agressive
electric guitar with vocal harmonies and traditional
instrument-based solos featuring whistles, pipes, fiddles
and even Jethro Tull-style flutes.
"Too Far" builds an effective blend alternating between
traditional, alternative rock and reggae themes.
We especially enjoyed "Silence," a ballad with Linda's soaring
lead vocal sung over densely arranged traditional and electronic
instrumentation with lovely backing vocal harmonies in the
choruses. Rosheen's "The Answer" is a heavy rocker lushly
arranged featuring accordian and fiddle. It combines modern
rock sounds with stunning vocals; modern and traditional
arrangements comprise a reel within the instrumental bridge.
A reprise of the title track concludes the song.
You can hear soundbites from Celtic Fire's debut album, access
other reviews and order the band's albums at their website.
Worth a cross-country journey, this new album is absolutely a