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Iarla O’Lionaird has just released his latest, Foxlight

Iarla O’Lionaird has just released his latest, Foxlight. We could write for days about this sean nos singer. Well, he’s not sean nos.BBut, he’s not modern. He inhabits his own universe in which he lives creatively among a lot of strains of Irish music. Working against him, in terms of a big, broad, mass appeal, is the fact that almost all of what he sings is in Gaelic. We did not care for his early work, when others were climbing on his bandwagon. It was random, disjointed, and tried too hard to be different. Now, he seems to have really found his footing over the last couple years. What has has carried him through everything is the fact that he has a terrific voice and a highly creative sensitivity. This is an artist at work, and an important one. We saw him recently at the Masters of Tradition show at the Old Town School of Folk Music. Oddly, that show consolidated the conflicts within his music. His voice was terrific throughout the night and he has real depth. Soul. So, why did he choose to open the entire performance with an 8-9 minute solo, extremely quiet vocal in Gaelic? See what we mean? Here’s the answer. What we have here is a really good singer who has a true grasp of the idiom. But to expand the scope and bring his music to a wider audience, he is going to need to use that wonderful voice and flex his artistic muscle in some new and more accessible areas.

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Tags: Foxlight, Iarla O’Lionaird

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