'Mountain Rose' from The Gothard Sisters “… enduring line of heritage and advance to the future”(July 06, 2015)
Celtic music travels well. The natural roving instinct in the Celtic blood has sent its generations across the world. Along with their restless spirits they took with them their enduring and infectious music, and that music remained happy to accept inspiration and invention from the lands it encountered. Mixing originals with tradition, the album ‘Mountain Rose’ from Seattle-based The Gothard Sisters - Greta, Willow and Solana - demonstrates the persistent force of Celtic influence coupled with its eternal freedom to innovate and evolve.
‘Mountain Rose’ doesn’t simply replay tradition, it adds zest and flavour mixing new arrangements with self-penned work that blends spritely tunes, irresistible melodies and the purity of sibling harmony. The production of this album brings out every nuance of the music and along the way places you close to the band - dynamic bounce of bodhran, silky swish of fiddle, fluid flow of guitar and precision vocals are brought out to perfection.
The original songs include the love-song narrative of the lushly seductive ‘The Boatman’s Call’ and the powerful ‘girl-dressed-as-boy’ sea faring tale of ‘Grace O'Malley’, both typical folk music story-telling fare, and the inspirational ‘It Was Beautiful’ - all splendid songs. They include a couple of re-arranged covers, both given the Gothard treatment - Andy M. Stewart’s ‘Queen of Argyll’ and Kate Rusby’s ‘I Courted A Sailor’, both doing more than justice to the originals. Naturally, there’s a crop of vivacious tunes, original and traditional - the foot stomping rush of ‘The Bandit’, the spritely ‘Cat in a Bush’ and the traditional American/Irish/Shetland (take your pick as to its origins) tune ‘St Anne’s Reel’. They walk once more with tradition through their versions of the ever-popular Welsh folk song, ‘All Through the Night’ (in Welsh language ‘Ar Hyd y Nos’) and the oft-sung at New Year celebrations, Robert Burns’ poem ‘Auld Lang Syne’.
Lovers of tradition and innovation will find much to relish in ‘Mountain Rose’. Its respect for both the enduring line of heritage and its continued advance to the future both powerful and evident.
The Gothard Sisters are Greta Gothard (guitar, violin, cajon, bass, drum, percussion, vocals) Willow Gothard (violin, mandolin, dancing, octave mandolin, octave violin, vocals) Solana Gothard (vocals, bodhran, djembe, violin, whistle, percussion, autoharp, dulcimer). Find album and band here: www.gothardsisters.com
Review: Tim Carroll