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  Hill of Sallows
Artist: Beyond the Pale
Label: Independent
Tracks: 13/49:47

In the past ten years or so there has been a resurgence in interest in the old Celtic Church and along with it a renewal of interest in Celtic music as well. Some players in this field such as the various units that have risen out of the band Iona or the Chicago based The Crossing are a credit to their genre. Add to that list of names, Beyond the Pale. On this their second album, Hill of Sallows named after the site of the first church founded by Saint Patrick, the band shows why they are one of the best. The crew consists of: Marc Hamer on percussion and vocals, Julie Hamer on Irish whistles, flutes and vocals, Matthew Burke on fiddle and tenor banjo,Stephen Dowdall on guitars, bass and vocals, and Hannah Stevenson on bass. The tunes on this collection are a combination of traditional and original compositions--the old are blended effortlessly with the new. The music on this album is perfect and makes me want to spend the night with good friends in a nice Irish pub talking about theology and music over a pint and a pipe. The dedication on the album bears repeating. "This CD is dedicated to the souls who have chosen persecution over denial... to follow Christ even to martyrdom... love over hate... and truth above all." If more artists had this mind set while putting out music of this quality the world would be a better place at least for a little bit.

Chris MacIntosh aka Grandfather Rock 6/2/2002



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