Women, Celtic Music Fans Will Appreciate Putumayo’s Latest Celtic Music Offering

Courtesy: Putumayo World Music

St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner once again, and while this year will be quite different thanks to people’s fears over the COVID-19 virus, one agency that isn’t letting the virus ruin celebrations is Putumayo Music.  The label, known for its extensive catalog of World Music offerings, released a new collection of songs from acclaimed female Celtic singers Friday.  The compilation, titled Celtic Women features 10 songs from the likes of Cathie Ryan, Karen Matheson and Rebecca Pidgeon performing their own originals and updates of other Celtic tunes.  That variety of songs is one of the record’s key elements to address in examining its presentation.  The liner notes that are featured with the collection play into its presentation in their own way, and will be addressed a little later.  The compilation’s sequencing rounds out the most important elements of Celtic Women, as it does its own part to ensure listeners’ engagement and entertainment.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of this musical collection.  Collectively, they make Celtic Women a presentation that needs no luck to be successful among its targeted audiences.

Putumayo World Music’s new compilation Celtic Women is a presentation that is certain to appeal to its targeted audiences – primarily fans of said genre and female audiences in general.  That is proven in part through the songs that make up the body of the record.  The 10-songs featured in the compilation are a mix of originals and covers.  The arrangements range from the melancholy to the playful throughout.  The lyrical themes range from the lighthearted to the all-too-familiar topic of relationships to even the sociopolitical.  The fact that the arrangements and lyrical theme featured throughout the album are so easily able to connect with listeners through their variety ensures in its own way, the record’s ability to appeal to the noted audiences.  That the songs are covers and originals (and in some cases re-imaginings of originals), adds to their interest even more.  All things considered, the songs that make up the body of Celtic Women go a long way toward making the compilation appealing for its target audiences.  They are collectively, just one of the record’s key elements.  The liner notes featured with the recording add to that appeal.

The liner notes featured in Celtic Woman are important to address in that they provide the background information about the songs that make up the record’s body.  They also give background on the women who perform each song and their fellow musicians.  Audiences learn for instance, that performer Cathie Ryan is the descendant of Irish immigrants and that she was first introduced to Celtic music through her parents’ singing when she was a child.  Her notes state that her performance here of the song ‘Garden Valley’ is a cover of Scottish singer-songwriter Dougie MacLean’s song of the same name.  Listeners learn that the song, at its heart, focuses on the forced Scottish migration sparked by the Highland Clearances that took place from 1750-1860.  That in itself can serve as a starting point in research for some who might be history buffs.  To that end, that information proves valuable in its own way, not just for its entertainment value.  The liner notes additionally note that Karen Matheson’s performance of the song ‘Ca Na Dh’fhag Thu M’fhichead Gini’ was based on an old Celtic work sung by Celtic women as they beat wool to soften it.  In other words, it is based on a work song.  Here in this note, is more interest for history buffs, as it could serve as a starting point on the trend of people even in Celtic culture using music to help keep work progressing.  We’ve all heard about work songs that African-American slaves used and that railroad workers used while building the Trans-Atlantic Railroad.  This in itself shows another way in which music and work have traditionally been coupled.  It shows once more, the importance and value of the liner notes.  Another example of the importance and value of the record’s liner notes comes in the background on Eilis Kennedy and her performance of Cailin Mo Runsa.’  The liner notes state of Kennnedy, she is full-blooded Irish, having grown up with a large family in west Kerry “in the southwestern corner of Ireland.”  The liner notes state her performance of the aforementioned song is another cover, this time of Highland tenor Donald Ross’ song by the same name.  The story of how Kennedy learned and sang the song offers its own share of interest for audiences.  Not to give too much away, the story is somewhat bittersweet.  Between this story and the other information provided throughout the compilation’s liner notes, the whole of the record’s liner notes offers plenty of added value to the LP.  That value, considered alongside the value in the songs, shows even more why this compilation will appeal to its target audiences.  It is just one more aspect of the record worth noting.  The collection’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.

From start to end, this compilation’s sequencing does its own share to keep audiences listening without skipping any songs.  It starts off with a reserved, mid-tempo arrangement in ‘Take You Home’ but immediately after, pulls back dramatically in the song’s second offering.  That reserved energy remains through the first half of the album’s 36-minute run time before finally picking back up slightly in ‘Do O Deighdl Lom,’ which comes just past the record’s midway point.  The album’s energy pulls back immediately after that song in ‘Garden Valley.’  That reserved sense remains in place in ‘Cailin Mo Runsa,’ but in a distinctly different fashion.  It is something that has to be heard to be understood.  The reserved energy eventually gives way to something slightly more light in the record’s finale, ‘Wild Mountain Thyme,’ but only slightly.  Even with that in mind, it is still just enough of a change to keep the record engaging for its target audiences.  Keeping all of this in mind, the subtle changes in the songs’ energies does its own share to keep audiences engaged and entertained.  When this aspect is considered along with the album’s overall content, the whole of these elements makes Celtic Women a work that will easily appeal to women and the most devoted fans of Celtic music and music with Celtic roots.

Putumayo World Music’s latest Celtic music collection – its fourth at least in recent years – is a presentation that will appeal to its target audiences.  That it features a variety of songs performed by female vocalists will make it appealing to female audiences.  The balance of covers and originals adds to that appeal for the noted audiences.  The liner notes that come with the album add to its appeal for their intrinsic and extrinsic value.  The record’s sequencing ensures in its own way, listeners’ appeal because of the subtle balance of the songs’ energies throughout.  Each item noted is key in its own way to the whole of Celtic Women.  All things considered, they make Celtic Women a work that women and Celtic music devotees alike will enjoy.  More information on this and other titles from Putumayo World Music is available online at:

 

 

 

Website: http://putumayo.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Putumayo

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Putumayo World Music Taking Listeners On A Worldwide Trip For The Holidays

Courtesy: Putumayo World Music

With the holiday season officially here, Putumayo World Music has announced it is releasing a new holiday music compilation to celebrate.

Joy to the World is scheduled to be released Nov. 16. Instead of just being another holiday music compilation, the record presents holiday songs from around the globe.  It features works, such as a Portugese-language take of ‘The First Noel’ from Nossa Bossa Nova, an international take of ‘Silent Night’ from multicultural group Arspop and a French Canadia-language version of ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ just to name a few entries.

As if those songs are not enough, the compilation also features a tropical take of ‘Winter Wonderland’ from famed ukelele performer Jan Luna, an Italian-language take of ‘White Christmas’ from Marina del Gaudio’ and an original composition titled ‘O Natal Ja Comecou’ from Portugese duo Ines Pupo and Goncalo Pratas.

Those wanting something more “domestic” get an upbeat take on ‘Little Drummer Boy’ from Alabama’s own Roman Street and an original zydeco work from Lynn August in the form of ‘Christmas By The Bar-B-Que.’  In one of the record’s most interesting moments, listeners get a reggae-infused take on ‘Frosty The Snowman’ from Jamaican outfit The Mighty Diamonds.

The record wraps with a Hawaiin-infused original titled ‘Christmas Island’ by Leon Redbone.

Audiences can hear samples of each song noted here online now here.  More information on Joy to the World and other titles from Putumayo World Music is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.putumayo.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Putumayo

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

International Collective’s Joint Album Tops Phil’s Picks’ 2017 Top 10 New World Music Albums List

Courtesy: World Circuit

World Music, it seems, is one of the most under appreciated genres in the vast universe of music.  That at least seems to be the case among American audiences.  Hopefully this critic is wrong in that interpretation.  Yet, when one looks at the fact that most World Music is relegated to public radio stations instead of having any major mainstream presence, one can’t help but think that it is not one of the most commercially accepted genres.  Ironically, those who give World Music a chance will find that it is in fact quite the interesting realm, as has been proven again by this year’s new field of World Music offerings.

This year has seen a wide array of interesting new World Music albums.  From South America to Africa to the Middle East and even to Spain, the World Music Realm has produced albums from around the globe that deserve at least one listen if not more.  Topping this year’s list of the best new World Music offerings is Ladilikan, the most recent recording from Mali-based Trio Da Kali.  Joining the group on the new album is the famed American string group Kronos Quartet.  The arrangements created by this collective are works that simply must be heard to be fully appreciated.  Also included in this year’s list are new compilations from Putumayo World Music featuring Italian and Cuban selections alongside Argentinian artist Fer Isella’s new album The Art of the Possible among others.

As with every one of this critic’s previous lists, this collection features this critic’s Top 10 Best New Albums in their category, with five additional honorable mention titles.  That brings the count to 15 total.  Without any further ado, here for you is Phil’s Picks’ 2017 Top 10 New World Music albums.

  1. Trio Da Kali & Kronos Quartet — Ladilikan
  2. Red Baraat — Bhangra Pirates
  3. Music Action Ensemble — Foundation
  4. Fer Isella — The Art of the Possible
  5. Synthesize The Soul — Astro-Atlantic Hypnotica From The Cape Verde Islands 1973 – 1988
  6. Las Cafeteras — Tastes Like L.A.
  7. Putumayo World Music Presents — Cuba! Cuba!
  8. Putumayo World Music Presents — Classic Italia
  9. Battle of Santiago — La Migra
  10. Ani Cordero — Querido Mundo
  11. Jenny & The Mexicats — Open Sea
  12. Delia Derbyshire Appreciation Society — Delia Derbyshire Appreciation Society
  13. Free Radicals — Outside The Comfort Zone
  14. Tamikrest — Kidal
  15. Tinariwen — Elwan

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

 

 

Putumayo World Music’s Latest Cuban Music Compilation Is Another Magical Musical Journey

Courtesy: Putumayo World Music

Cuba has been in the news quite a bit lately.  It hasn’t been for the best reasons, either.  Luckily though, where certain events have caused quite the division among Americans and natives of the island nation, Putumayo World Music has bridged that gap with a new collection of Cuban music in the recently released compilation record Cuba! Cuba!  The 10-song record is a collection that will unite everyone regardless of political persuasions and ethnic backgrounds.  That is due in part to the songs featured in this latest collection of Cuban compositions.  It will be discussed shortly.  The artists and acts featured throughout the record are collectively just as important to discuss in examining the record’s whole as its songs.  This will be discussed later.  The record’s companion booklet rounds out its most important elements.  Each element is important in its own right to the album’s whole.  All things considered, they make this record one of the year’s top new World Music offerings as well as one of the year’s top new Jazz and Blues records.

Putumayo World Music’s latest Cuban music compilation Cuba! Cuba! is one of this year’s top new World Music albums and new Jazz & Blues offerings.  That is due in part to the 10 songs that make up the record’s body.  From start to finish, the songs vary in regards to the eras in which they were released and in terms of their styles.  From Samba to Rumba to Bossa Nova and beyond, so many sub-genres of Cuban music are represented throughout the course of the album.  This shows that those behind the record’s sequencing clearly put a lot of time and thought into assembling and sequencing the songs.

That time and deliberate thought is exhibited just as much in the variety of eras represented here.  The balance of new and classic Cuban works is expertly balanced with five classics and five originals featured here.  Even more interesting to note is the fact that some of those classics are presented in a new setting through younger acts who specialize in Cuban music.  Case in point Asere’s take on Cuban composer Luis Marquetti’s song ‘Oriente,’ which was included in his 1980 album Fe, Esperanza y Caridad and Septeto Nacional Ignacio Pineiro’s cover of singer-songwriter Marcelino “Rapindey” Guerra’s ‘Me Dieron la Clave.’  On the more modern side, listeners get Sonlokos’ original tune ‘Rumba Con Sabor a Melao’ and Palo!’s original composition ‘Al Monte.’  This is just a glimpse into the division of new and classic tunes that complete this record.  Audiences will hear for themselves the full division when they pick up the album for themselves.

Staying on the matter of the album’s featured songs and their performers, the performers featured in this record are just as important to discuss as the songs and their variety.  That is because the list of featured performers is just as varied as the songs.  Those behind the record’s creation put just as much thought into choosing the record’s featured performers as the songs.  Legendary Cuban singer Roberto Torres is featured as part of the collection alongside fledgling Miami-based outfit Sonlokos while fellow up-and-coming Miami-based Palo! is set alongside veteran Cuban-American musician Jose Conde to round out the record.  Earlier in the record’s run, Al Valdes is partnered alongside veteran La Familia Valera Miranda for a solid 1-2 classic Cuban pairing – one more example of the diversity in the record’s performer lineup.  Keeping this in mind, the diversity in the songs and performers featured in this record becomes clear along with the importance of said diversity.  Even with this in mind, that extensive diversity is only a portion of what makes this record so enjoyable.  The companion booklet that comes with the record rounds out its most important elements.

The musical diversity and that of the acts chosen for the record are both critical to its overall presentation.  They are not its only key elements, though.  The record’s companion booklet is just as important to its whole as the songs and their featured performers.  That is because the booklet provides a brief but concise history on each performer and its associated song.  For instance, audiences learn in reading the booklet that while Roberto Torres started his career as a performer, he is now a successful label owner.  Audiences also learn through the booklet’s notes that La Familia Valera Miranda’s musical roots reach back generations, going all the way back to Santiago de Cuba, “the largest city in the eastern part of the island.”  As if that is not enough, another Santiago de Cuba resident, Armando Garzon gets his own highlight here.  Audiences learn of his history that he was born in the city in 1948 and lived most of his life exposed solely to the region’s music thanks to his grandmother and great-aunt.  These are just some examples of the depth of information provided in the album’s booklet.  Again, even more information is provided both on the featured acts and songs throughout the booklet.  The whole of that collective information makes for an educational experience that is just as enjoyable as the experience provided via the album’s songs.  Keeping all of this in mind, the songs that make up the album, their performers and the record’s booklet join to make the album in whole a collection that will take listeners to Cuba without the need for expensive passports, tickets, vaccinations or anything else.  Considering this, they make the record in whole, one of this year’s top new World Music records and one of the year’s top new Jazz & Blues offerings.

Putumayo World Music’s new Cuban music compilation Cuba! Cuba! is a hit twice over.  It is one of the year’s top new World Music offerings and one of the year’s top new Jazz & Blues albums. As has already been noted, that is due to the partnering of 10 songs and acts that span the rich, expansive history of Cuba’s musical history.  The companion booklet that comes with the record, which is nothing new to Putumayo World Music’s offerings, puts the finishing touch on the album’s overall presentation.  All things considered, the album proves wholly that it deserves a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new World Music albums list as well as the year’s top new Jazz & Blues albums.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on this and other titles from Putumayo World Music is available online now along with all of the company’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.putumayo.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Putumayo

Twitter: http://twitter.com/putumayomusic

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

‘Vintage Italia’ Is Sure To Become Vintage In Any Listener’s Music Library

Courtesy: Putumayo World Music

Putumayo World Music is one of the leading names in the World Music realm.  That is thanks to recordings that have taken listeners on great musical adventures to almost every corner of the globe.  From Latin America to Ireland to Australia and many other points, Putumayo World Music has consistently offered audiences great music from so many nations.  Its latest musical outing Vintage Italia is no different.  This 11-song album is a work that will appeal both to fans of World Music and Jazz.  This is due in part to the record’s featured songs and their performers.  This will be discussed shortly.  The record’s companion booklet is just as important to its overall presentation as its songs.  This will be discussed later.  The bonus Sgroppino (Italian cocktail) recipe included in the album’s booklet rounds out the record’s most important elements.  Each element is important in its own right to the record’s overall presentation.  All things considered, Vintage Italia proves to be one of the year’s top new World Music offerings and one of the year’s top new Jazz & Blues offerings.

Putumayo World Music’s new classic Italian Jazz compilation Vintage Italia is one of this year’s top new World Music offerings and one of the year’s top new Jazz & Blues albums.  That is due in part to its featured songs and the artists who performed said songs.  The songs themselves are so notable because they are in large part classic jazz compositions from the 1950s and 1960s that are the original recordings no less.  Hearing those original compositions is like opening yet another time capsule, taking listeners back to those eras.  Not all of the songs included in this compilation are from the 20th Century, though.  A small handful of the record’s featured songs are from the 21st Century and their associated acts, too.

Speaking of the acts performing the featured songs, listeners will be interested to learn that the acts featured throughout the record are themselves largely Italian.  From legends such as Julia De Palma and Fred Buscaglione to more modern acts such as Gianmaria Testa and Emanuele Tozzi, the record’s featured artists present the past present and future of Italy’s rich jazz scene.  Just as interesting to note is the fact that the performers featured here also include a Canadian-born performer of Italian descent, an Austrian group known for covering music from around the world and even an American act formed in Washington state.  One might ask on the surface why this is so important.  The answer is that it shows the far-reaching impact and influence of jazz (and music in general) crafted by Italian artists throughout the nation’s history.  Keeping that in mind, it shows why the performers featured in Vintage Italia and their songs are so important to the record’s overall presentation.  They are collectively only part of what makes this compilation so enjoyable.  Even as important as they are to the record’s overall presentation, they are not its only important elements.  The record’s companion booklet plays its own key role in the record’s presentation, too.

The songs and artists featured in Vintage Italia are in themselves key pieces of the record’s whole.  That is because of the picture that they paint both by themselves and together.  While they are important parts of the record’s whole, they are not its only key elements.  The record’s companion booklet plays its own key part in the record’s overall presentation.  The booklet is so important because of the history that it provides audiences.  It starts with a history of how jazz became so popular in Italy after World War II thanks to American GIs still living there at the time.  The history is brief but concise, showing the influence that American and Italian Jazz in fact had on one another.  From there, the booklet presents equally brief but concise bios on the record’s performers, even offering some insight on their associated songs.  That insight adds to the songs’ enjoyment even if listeners might not speak Italian.  Precise translations are provided of key passages that help illustrate the songs’ subjects.  When those translations are coupled with the history and insight offered on each song and artist, they make the record’s overall listening experience even more enjoyable.  That is because said material adds to the appreciation of the songs in regards to their content and history.  That added depth is not the last important element to discuss in examining this record’s overall presentation.  The bonus cocktail recipe puts the finishing touch to its presentation.

The musical and informational content provided throughout Vintage Italia are both key pieces of the record’s overall presentation.  They are not its only important elements, though.  The record also includes a bonus recipe for a Sgroppino, or Italian Cocktail in the booklet.  The recipe includes a detailed list of ingredients and instructions for the drink, which is itself a vintage Italian beverage, even offering a little bit of information on the drink itself as part of the recipe.  Audiences who enjoy a cool drink especially on warm summer nights will enjoy this drink while perhaps hosting a party with the record’s music as a backdrop on a warm summer’s eve.  The addition of the recipe is nothing new for compilations  from Putumayo World Music.  Most, if not all, of its compilations come complete with a recipe for an associated drink or dish to go with the music featured on said records along with an equally rich depth of background history information from their companion booklets.  Keeping all of this in mind, the bonus drink recipe included in Vintage Italia’s companion booklet makes this recording *refreshing* in more ways than one.  That recipe joins with the record’s musical and informational content to make this collection so refreshing that it proves to be one of the year’s top new World Music and Jazz & Blues records.

Putumayo’s latest World Music offering Vintage Italia is a record that World Music and Jazz & Blues fans of all ages will appreciate.  That is due to musical and information content that will keep them fully engaged from start to finish.  The bonus drink recipe included with the record’s booklet puts the finishing touch on the record’s presentation.  Each element proves positive in its own right to the record’s whole.  All things considered, they make Vintage Italia a record that is sure to become vintage in any of the noted audiences’ music libraries.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on this and other titles from Putumayo World Music is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.putumayo.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Putumayo

Twitter: http://twitter.com/putumayomusic

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Celtic Cafe A Welcome Record For Fans Of Real Celtic Music

Courtesy:  Putumayo World Music

Courtesy: Putumayo World Music

Putumayo is one of the leading names in the World Music community. The Charlotte, Vermont-based company has proven this time and again for more than two decades, churning out compilations containing some of the most impressive music from every corner of the world. 2015 has been no different as Putumayo released a new collection of classic Latin tunes this summer titled Vintage Latino that will transport listeners back to the smoky clubs of Cuba. It isn’t the only impressive compilation that Putumayo has released so far this year. This past February Putumayo also released an interesting new collection of Celtic music in the form of Celtic Cafe. The central element of Celtic Cafe that makes it such an interesting listen is its overall musical content. When most people think of Celtic music, the instant reaction is to think of bagpipes and step dancers. That is not the case here. There are no bagpipes or such here. Rather the music presented here is classic Celtic in every sense of the word. The album’s sequencing is another of its positives. Those charged with ordering the songs are to be applauded for their efforts. That is because their efforts resulted in a ten-song compilation that will keep listeners engaged from beginning to end. Last but hardly least of note in this collection is its companion booklet. Much as with so many of Putumayo’s compilations, this one also boasts its own companion booklet that is loaded with an interesting history on the compilation’s featured songs and background on those that recorded the featured songs for the compilation. That depth of information serves as a solid starting point for anyone wanting to learn about true Celtic music. All three elements combined make Celtic Cafe yet another enjoyable collection of songs from one of the leading labels in the World Music realm and one more of the best of the genre’s new offerings.

Putumayo’s new Celtic music compilation Celtic Cafe is one of the best of this year’s new world music offerings. It is a solid starting point for anyone that has a yearning to learn about true Celtic music. The main reason for this is that its music is not what most people think of when they think of when they think of Celtic music. There are no bagpipes to speak of anywhere throughout the course of the disc’s ten tracks. There’s no over-the-top style sound that has been made so popular by Michael Flatley and company. Rather, this is pure Celtic music at its finest. Right from the album’s outset listeners will be quite surprised in hearing Michael McGoldrick’s performance of ‘waterbound.’ This song sounds more similar to today’s country hits than anything Celtic. But the fact of the matter is that Country and Celtic are quite closely related as are bluegrass and Celtic. That revelation itself serves as its own excellent starting point for a discussion on the intersection of the noted genres. It’s just one way in which the compilation’s content proves that it is in whole such an interesting collection. ‘Star of the County Down’ is another example of what makes Celtic Cafe’s content such an important part of its presentation. The classic Irish tune tells the story of a young man who went head over heels for a certain young woman. It comes from a poem written by Cathal McGarvey. The young woman’s name is Rose and she is the “star” in question. The unnamed man sings of his love for her, dreaming of all of the joy that he would bring to her right up to marrying her. The Baileys, who perform the song here, do an expert job of translating the young man’s dreaming with their gentle delivery of the song. ‘An Eala Bhan’ is one more clear example of what makes this compilation’s content so enjoyable. The song is another classic Celtic piece. It is a painfully beautiful composition that centers on a young man that has gone off to fight in World War I. He is writing a letter to the woman that he loves. He tells her in the letter that he doubts he will survive, but expresses his love regardless. The gentle strains of the guitar set against the equally light cadence of the drum adds even more emotion to the song. The combination of that musical and lyrical content (the lyrics are sung, by the way entirely in Gaelic) makes this song a deeply moving song. It isn’t one of those over-the-top tear-jerkers that are all too commonplace in today’s music industry. Rather it is a deeply heartfelt song that exhibits so much true, deep emotions. It makes obvious why this song is another clear example of what makes the record’s collected songs so important to its overall presentation. They are just a few examples of how the collected songs make Celtic Cafe so enjoyable, too. All ten songs featured throughout this record show in their own way why it is so enjoyable for those that enjoy true Celtic music. They are only a portion of the presentation’s positives, too. The sequencing of the songs is another positive to this record.

The songs that make up the body of Celtic Cafe are in themselves reason enough for audiences to check out this record. That is because they are pure Celtic compositions. There are no bagpipes or Riverdance-style pieces anywhere in this record. It is all Celtic music in its purest form. While the songs are important in their own right, the songs’ sequencing is just as important as the songs themselves. Over the course of its first three songs, the record goes from a Celtic song that openly shows the roots of today’s Country music to a decidedly more Celtic composition to something more akin to today’s pop music in the form of ‘Him Bo.’ From there it goes back to a more pure Celtic sound before presenting the roots of today’s Bluegrass sound in the form of ‘School Days Over.’ It could be argued to a point that ‘Braw Sailin’ is another example of the link between Celtic music and Country through the use of its fiddle and guitar. The same could be said of the record’s penultimate presentation, the fully instrumental ‘Looking at a Rainbow Through a Dirty Window.’ The only difference between this song and some of the others is the lack of a guitar. But the work of the musician on fiddle here instantly conjures thoughts of so many of today’s country music. ‘Tramps and Hawkers’ closes out the record and fittingly so. Considering the mix of emotions that it generates through each of its movements, it will keep listeners just as engaged as any of the album’s other featured works. The variance in the songs’ styles and emotional energy shows even more why the sequencing of the songs is just as important as the songs themselves to Celtic Cafe’s overall listening experience. It still is not the last element of this record that makes it such a worthwhile listen. The record’s companion booklet rounds out its presentation.

The songs that make up the body of Celtic Cafe and their sequencing are both important in their own right to the record’s overall presentation. While there is no denying both elements’ importance, they are only two-thirds of the record’s positives. The companion booklet that comes with the record is just as important to the record as the record’s songs or their sequencing. That is because the booklet offers both a history on the featured songs and background information on the artists and groups that recorded the featured songs. It clearly points out which songs are classic, original Celtic pieces that have been re-imagined and which are newer pieces. Each is presented in a clear and concise fashion. The result is that listeners get just enough information to serve as a solid starting point for an introduction to Celtic music both past and present. This applies whether listeners read through the booklet before, during, or after listening to the record. Case in point the history behind ‘An Eala Bhan.’ The companion booklet provides a short but concise behind the song and the group that recorded it–Manran–and even a short lyrical run that even more clearly explains the song’s story. The booklet also explains in just enough depth the history behind ‘Tramps & Hawkers’ explaining that it was originally written in the late 1800s and celebrates the traveling salesmen that trekked across the Scottish countryside selling their wares and spreading news and gossip. It’s just one more example of how the information provided throughout Celtic Cafe’s companion booklet proves it to be so important. And as if all of the history and background information shared throughout Celtic Cafe’s booklet isn’t enough, there is also a recipe for a real Irish Coffee complete with Irish Whiskey. Now if that isn’t reason enough to read through the booklet then nothing is. But luckily that recipe comes together with the collective background history and background information to make Celtic Cafe’s companion booklet truly just as important to the whole of the record as the songs and their sequencing. All things considered Celtic Cafe proves in whole that, just as with its recently released Latin collection Vintage Latino, it is another of the best of this year’s World Music offerings.

Putumayo’s new Celtic collection Celtic Cafe is one more of this year’s best new World Music offerings. It is yet more proof of why Putumayo is one of the leading names in the World Music community. That is thanks in large part to the songs featured in the body of the record. The songs are a mix of classic and modern, pure Celtic compositions. There is no hint of bagpipes or any other similar sound to be heard anywhere across the course of the compilation’s ten tracks. The sequencing of the featured songs is just as important as the songs themselves. That is because the album’s emotional energy is expertly balanced from beginning to end, ensuring that audiences will remain engaged the entire time. The companion booklet, with its history and background on the collection’s songs, artists, and groups ads even more interest to the record. The recipe for a real Irish Coffee is the finishing touch to the booklet. Each element is equally important in its own right to the whole of Celtic Cafe. All three elements together make Celtic Cafe a listening experience that any fan of true Celtic music will enjoy and appreciate. It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered online direct via Putumayo’s online store at https://www.putumayo.com/shop/celtic-cafe/. More information on this and other titles from Putumayo is available online now at:

Website: http://www.putumayo.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Putumayo

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.