Glór na mBan - The Sound of Women
Order Number indie0196
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Glor na mBan means The Sound of Women, and a very fine sound you'll hear on this excellent debut full-length album from New Zealand's new all-girl Celtic band. Emerging from Wellington's rich folk culture for an intended one-off performance back in 2004, Glor na mBan's talent shone out, guiding the band to regular performances round the country and a trip to Australia's 2005 National Folk Festival.
The Sound of Women blends songs and tunes from the traditional and the modern in a seamless journey through stories that are mostly of, by or for women and their many and varied life experiences. Even the tracks that stray slightly from the theme are at the very least skilfully arranged by the women of Glor na mBan. Sounds like one for the girls, I hear you thinking? Well let me say lads, don?t let yourself miss out. If energetic and soulful drumming, gutsy four-part English and Gaelic vocals and multi-instrumentalists giving their all for a mature, co-ordinated sound is your sort of thing, this CD is for you too. Or maybe you just fancy the idea of a wild Irish dance to the rhythm of four gorgeous young New Zealanders - either way, I'd be willing to bet you won't be disappointed?
Ang Kidd's gentle, strikingly clear bouzouki leads us into an initially solo vocal on the opening track - the traditional Teir Abhaile Riu - and by the time all three other voices plus Melanie Brown?s powerful bodrhan have joined in the fray, you know you've got an album well worth owning.
Edith O'Regan's flute is a nice highlight for a carefully considered intro to the otherwise acappella version of She Moved Thru the Fair, and thru The Sheep in the Boat/Cailleach on Airgid, which also features a wonderful foot percussion accompaniment. Neasa Scanlon?' accordion is a good match for the jig set at track 5 and Ang plays a mean set of spoons as the sole accompaniment to the lively traditional A Stor a Stor a Ghra, a Gaelic song about potatoes - there has to be one on any decent Irish collection, surely?
For established or for new fans of Celtic music, this one can only add value to your collection and to your enjoyment of a fine tradition being constantly revised and renewed by inspiring young bands like Glor na mBan. Highly recommended. - review by Julie Barnes for indie-cds.com 2006
from the band's website:
Glór na mBan (pronounced glor nah maun) means the 'sound of women'. Glór na mBan is a band of four young women who perform Irish traditional songs, music and dance with a unique style and a refreshing simplicity that audiences love. We sing mostly old traditional songs in the Irish language, often without accompaniment, blending and harmonising our four voices. We also sing in English and, occasionally, in Maori. As well as singing, we are keen instrumentalists, and intersperse our songs with sets of reels, jigs and polkas and the occasional slow air. One or two of us can usually be inspired to dance! We are passionate about sharing the joy of the tradition and keeping it alive.
This album seemed to choose its own songs. The themes of the album emerged as we were drawn to the songs that filled it. The songs are a mix of ancient and modern, Irish and English, but are all about women or by women. Songs of love, hate, sorrow and happiness. Songs about real women and real lives, songs that tell their stories to the ages, the sounds of women. And a few tunes too!
Glór na mBan is based in Wellington, New Zealand.