The Ceili Family: Tory Kings

April 23, 2010

The Ceili Family, a 6-piece, Celtic folk-rock band out of western Germany, lists Christy Moore, The Dubliners and The Pogues pretty highly among their influences, and with their latest release, Tory Kings, it shows.

In the wide spectrum of styles in the Celtic Folk-Punk genre, The Ceili Family’s sound  falls fairly squarely in with those of The Pogues’, The Mahones,’ and, to a lesser extent, The Greenland Whalefishers,’ with more of an emphasis on the folk-ish elements and less crunchy guitar distortion.

The bands’ instrumentation includes guitar, mandolin, accordion, bass, drums, and fiddle along with vocals, which were are all in English, despite the bands origins. These vocals ring in somewhere between a slur-free version of Popes-era Shane MacGowan, and The Mahones’ Finny McConnell for a clear and easy to understand lyric delivery.

All of the instrumentation is top-notch and impressive, but it is the accordion that I first noticed on Tory Kings, the band’s follow-up to 2007’s Tooraloo. It plays a major role in defining The Ceili Family sound, straddling between the traditional and the rock instruments, filling in the chords and providing a broad backdrop for the fiddle and mandolin to dance upon.

With Tory Kings, The Ceili Family continues with their “no frills folk ‘n’ roll” with a collection of all-original tracks proudly displaying their influences. The end result being an upbeat and enjoyable release that is easy to listen to, no matter what the mood.

Review by Christopher P. Toler, THE Blathering Gommel

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