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Reviewed by Michael Bell

Ceol Manawatu: Till

Reviewed by Michael Bell

Ceol Manawatu: Till

Ceol Manawatu is a Palmerston North folk music collective who, as the title suggests, focus on music (ceol) written in the Manawatu. Now with more than a decade of release history, ‘Till’ is their third album. What caught my attention most about this is the large number of composers featured, which must have contributed to the eclectic variety of instrumentation. That and the fact that the tunes span a full century – from Jane Morrison’s The Four Little Stars In The Blue (1916) to album orchestrator Paul Turner’s Back To Back paean to the All Blacks’ 2015 RWC repeat success. The diversity is tied together by excellent singer/storytellers with distinctly Kiwi accents (with a few instrumental tracks in between). My favourite, Tuesday Session, is an energetic instrumental track about the Celtic Inn in Palmerston North (the local bog which is a key location in the city’s folk scene) featuring pipes and bouzouki. With engineering by the very experienced Neil Maddever, all 12 tracks are interesting in different ways, well-performed, and entertaining in a relaxed Celtic folk fashion.