Local Ground - Altan


Celtic music has covered a lot of ground in the last decade. As with the Celts themselves, this music is nomadic, embracing change and picking up influences from the distant places and peoples it has in turn, inspired. Maybe it is this inherent transience that's resulted in Celtic's ability to evoke a sense of longing for a place called home.After 20 years together as a band and spreading the sweet allure of Celtic melody from Donegal to Tokyo to Seattle, Altan give due props to their roots in the Emerald Isle with their 10th release, Local Ground. Hailing from Donegal in Ireland's Northwest region, Altan have long nurtured the venerable fiddle tradition of their homeland and its strong ties to Gaelic culture and language. Singer Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh (Mah-raid Nih Winnie) and her husband Dermot Byrne, the accordionist for the group even own a pub there, fostering Donegal's heritage of storytelling and music making. The seasoned interplay between Altan's gifted musicians and Mariread's exquisite, lilting voice continue to raise the bar for Irish traditional recordings with Local Ground. As one reviewer put it so succinctly, "Altan can seemingly do no wrong."