All right, I will start with a simple plug here for Rogairi. This is an amazing new Celtic band out of Regina, and if somebody in Yorkton is wise, they'll have Rogairi playing some function here very soon.
The CD starts off with a fast-paced and wonderfully rendered Come Out, Ye Black and Tans. The song immediately highlights the vocals of the band's usual lead singer Sean Farr. Just a great effort to start a CD from a new band.
When Susan Wadel lends vocals on the second cut Nil se'm la, it sends chills down the spine. This gal can sing with the best of them. This is arguably the premier cut on a CD which impresses throughout. It really is too bad that she only lends vocals in two songs, the other being The Coal Quay Market.
Song three and Rogairi continues to show its versatility, with Haw Wee Man a rollicking polka instrumental, of course in the finest Celtic traditions. While not a dancer, as my wife will attest, this one certainly calls one to the dance floor.
From there Rogairi weaves you through the variety of Celtic music.
The Hare's Paw / Jean's Reel is an instrumental where Carolyn Lowther on violin gets to cut loose. This gal can handle the bow and fiddle. Another definite toe tapper.
David Popoff gets a pat on the back here too for his flute, whistle and accordion work, with Wadel back to add whistle on a number of cuts as well. Celtic music is often measured by the quality of the whistle work, and these two get top marks throughout.
The whistle work on the intro to When Summer Ends is particularly beautiful and somewhat haunting.
And since I have mentioned the others, I would be remiss not to point out Trevor Bennett plays bass here, with Bryan Rice adding bodhran.
Now I will admit that I enjoy good Celtic music, and Canada has a long list of bands over the years who do it well, Great Big Sea, Scatter the Mud, Mad Pudding, Orealis and others. With this CD Rogairi sends the message that excellent Celtic music comes out of Regina too.
This is an excellent disk, and really one which is a must for anyone who enjoys Celtic.
Check them out at www.rogairi.com/
-- CALVIN DANIELS
-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Sept. 2, 2009 - Yorkton, SK. Canada