Celtic Woman take new journey on latest album
The Irish will conquer the world one day, and it will only take six women for them to achieve it.
Of course, you could argue that these artistically brilliant people famous for their musical exports have done it already, and that Celtic Woman is just the latest example of a culture celebrated the world over. The ensemble of five songbirds, a fiddler and a backup orchestra boasts owning the No. 1 spot on the Billboard World Music Chart for more than 90 consecutive weeks with their debut and Christmas albums.
Now the ladies have returned with their latest release A New Journey and live concert DVD: Celtic Woman — A New Journey, Live at Slane Castle, Ireland. Both the CD (their third No.1 on Billboard) and the DVD blend traditional Irish songs with contemporary hits, which singer Lisa Kelly says plays to the individual strengths of each woman in the group.
“My background wasn’t in traditional music at all,” Kelly says. “When David (composer and producer David Downes) was putting the music together for this show, he assigned songs that he felt were suited with our personalities and our backgrounds. Therefore, I got more of the contemporary songs, as opposed to the traditional songs that Orla (Fallon) or Chloe (Agnew) would have done.”
“It’s very important to us that we came across with the contemporary image of Ireland,” fiddler Mairead Nesbitt says. “The concept of the show is the different angles of the modern Celtic woman. The Irish contingent here in North America and all over the world is of utmost important to us. It has bridged that as an act.”
The show has bridged that gap so well that Celtic Woman is more successful with international audiences than at home. The ladies maintain the demand is created by descendants worldwide; Distanced from their cultural roots, those of Irish ancestry work harder to discover and celebrate their heritage. St. Patrick’s Day in Toronto, Chicago or New York, for example, is a shockingly bigger affair than one at home, the women claim.
“We wouldn’t even put decorations up for St. Patrick’s Day at home,” Kelly says. “I couldn’t believe it. It’s a holy day in Ireland: You went to mass and had dinner with your family. Yes there was a parade, but it’s nothing like they have here. I think it’s great. Wherever you go, people are interested in your culture. It really is an honour to be Irish.”