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Loreena McKennit – “Troubadours on the Rhine” Review

Loreena McKennit is one of those artists who are utterly timeless and as her latest album appears, once again its Live CD on 9 tracks taken from a radio show performance in Germany. The difference is this time its just Loreena and Brian Hughes on guitars and Caroline Levelle on Cello. Brian and Caroline dabble in other instruments too. This gives you some lovely more stripped down versions but they are in truth, very similar to the originals.

“Bonny Portmore” is as beautiful as ever while”Down By the Sally Gardens” is timeless. “The Wind That Shakes the Barley” is more powerful with its more sharper tones whereas “Between the Shadows” sounds even more alluring with its wonderful harp and cello interplay. “The Lady of Shallot” has never changed in its elegance while “The Stolen Child” is given an extra freshness with a more minimal approach. “Penolope’s Song” stays as haunting as ever but exacting to the original whereas “The Bonny Swans” does have a freshness without percussion before “The Parting Glass” perfectly signs off the travelling trio.

It’s a pitch perfect performance from start to finish and Loreena as ever is at the top of her game live, it’s just things are very similar to the originals if not nigh on identical and so if you’re looking for something different you’ll be disappointed.

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