Iona — Beyond These Shores
(WHAD 1300, 1993, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1995-07-01
Three albums on now, Iona's latest release shows a higher degree of maturity and refinement overall. Still solidly in the Celtic folk-rock vein, they are in many ways comparable to bands like Clannad and Fairport, but with strong Christian themes running through their songs. Vocalist Joanne Hogg is powerful as ever, and the band supports her well. Led by multi-instrumentalist Dave Bainbridge, they're not afraid to rock, nor are they afraid to explore the quieter introspective realms on the interludes between the vocal tracks. On their last album, all the rock was front-loaded, and the album completely changed (died?) at about the 35 minute mark; this time they've kept the energy level more constant by interspersing the quiet material throughout the album. A long list of guest musicians contributing everything from Uillean pipes to oboe and viola includes, plus none other than Robert Fripp, contributing guitar and Frippertronics. Anyone who enjoyed their previous Book of Kells should be delighted with this one, indeed it is better, yet a bit more polished as well. It should be noted that all three Iona CDs are now available as domestics, on the Forefront label. Highly recommended.
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more