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Appel Rekords  APR1333

There's long been a tradition of good Celtic music from Scots and Irish expatriates on the continental music scene, going back to an early member of the Battlefield Band, if not before.

Shantalla are a six piece band, based in Belgium; though from this album it would be difficult to know they are not in the UK or Irish mainstream; they play excellent music with excellent production which draws the listener to the very heart of their recording.

There are lots of tunes, some trad and some composed by accordion and whistle player Gerry Murray and by fiddler Kieran Fahy.  There is also an occasional tune by the likes of Michael McGoldrick, Phil Cunningham and the gloriously named Guns Of The Magnificent Seven by Fintan McManus.

Songs are lead by Helen Flaherty, with warm, intimate interpretations of Si Kahn's What You Do With What You've Got, Gloomy Winter by Robert Tannahill, and a Karine Polwart song.  This, apparently, is a Shantalla who have reformed after six years. I missed them the first time round, and will now be investigating their early work. You'll do much worse than putting in some detective work on this.

Bob Harragan

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This album was reviewed in Issue 90 of The Living Tradition magazine.