Nightingale Lane by Pat Kilbride Cd
Still factory Sealed
Pat Kilbride has carved out a unique niche for himself in the Celtic music world. There aren't many other musicians out there who have dedicated so much to the use of guitar and cittern as melody instruments in this type of music. Add to that some well chosen and sung tunes, and you get some pretty solid CDs.
After the more folk oriented Loose Cannon, Nightingale Lane marks a return to the focus of Undocumented Dancing and Rock & More Roses, while maintaining a character all its own. A simpler production this time, with much of the material featuring just Pat but very musical. Guest stars this time feature Scottish friends from Battlefield Band.
Things start off with a rousing set of original tunes. Pat had composed some original songs on his last two CDs, as well as some instrumentals on the last CD. He turns out some strong work here, particularly that opening set and a nice waltz on track 7. His guitar skill also comes through in the more loosly structured title track.
In addition to these original instrumentals, he tackles three separate O'Carolan tunes. That could be considered a little too much focus on a composer with such a distinctive style, but the versions are so nice you won't mind. I was left wondering what an entire CD of O'Carolan on guitar and cittern would sound like.
As can be seen in my other reviews, I lean pretty heavily towards the instrumental end of Celtic music. But there are times where a well chosen and vocalized song can grab me, and Pat has been pretty consistent with that. First off is a rendition of Nancy Griffith's Hard Life. Pat had already done a lovely version of this on Loose Cannon, and I don't think much is gained here, but it's still decent. The Kinsale Herring and Henry My Son are fun songs, both very Irish in style. Then there's the moody Rickrack, about a boy trying to take his life in the direction his heart demands.
Pat's skillful use of guitar and cittern are his biggest strengths to me. There really aren't that many musicians out there using them for melody other than Tony McManus and Arty Mcglynn. A sound is achieved you won't often hear elsewhere, but more importantly it's just good music.