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Monday, March 12, 2012

The Chieftains

Voice of Ages (Hear Music)

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If the parallels weren't already evident, famed Irish folk band The Chieftains make it perfectly clear on Voice of Ages that Celtic music and U.S. folk, especially in its currently commercially palatable Americana guise, share more than a few chromosomes of sonic DNA. It helps to have a producer such as T Bone Burnett to explicate the matter, as he has done much to bring the world a bit closer together in his capacity behind the studio control boards.

Burnett's addition of such varied guests as artsy acoustic aficionados The Decemberists and The Low Anthem and unique roots musicians Punch Brothers and Carolina Chocolate Drops make the statement complete and pretty satisfying. Wisconsin's own indie folkie Bon Iver figures admirably among the collaborators. If the whole enterprise doesn't snowball into another phenomenon on the scale of Burnett's soundtrack for O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Voice of Ages still stands as further testimony of The Chieftains' mastery and the wistfulness and majesty they can share with a bunch of relative fledglings.


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