Margaret Becker, Maire Brennan, Joanne Hogg - New Irish Hymns

Friday 16th November 2001
Margaret Becker, Maire Brennan, Joanne Hogg - New Irish Hymns
Margaret Becker, Maire Brennan, Joanne Hogg - New Irish Hymns

STYLE: Celtic
RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
LABEL: Kingsway KMCD2329
RRP: £4.99

Reviewed by Tony Cummings

With so much seeming cynicism surrounding Nashville marketing of Celtic music, it is particularly pleasing to report that this album bears none of the marks of hasty Irish music bandwagon-jumping. Instead, three superlative singing talents, American veteran Catholic songstress Margaret Becker, Clannad's etherial voiced colleen Maire Brennan and the stunning voice of Iona Joanne Hogg have been gathered together by 26 year old composer, producer and conducter Keith Getty. What Keith manages to do is fit wistful, haunting melodies to words sometimes penned by the singers themselves and sometimes like with William Cowper's classic hymn "O For A Closer Walk", from an earlier era of music. The arrangements are magnificent with lush string writing perfectly integrated with pipes and whistles from Troy Donockley, lilting guitar lines from players like Phil Keaggy and Jason Carter and truly tumultuous percussion from Terl Bryant. All three sisters revel in the warmly evocative arrangements and deliver some of their best ever vocal performances. New Irish hymns indeed.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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Sample Track Listing:
1. Your Hand O God Has Guided [Listen]

This track data is supplied by the Cross Rhythms CD/DVD review library. Please note that CD tracks may vary according to release region or product version.

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