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Review: Celtic Women on PBS

07 Mar 05 - 11:29 PM (#1429414)
Subject: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: DonMeixner

Was anyone besides me totally underwhelmed. Obviously packaged for the muddleaged American audience who thinks Celtic Music is nothing but mist and fairy voices coming from attractive blonde women with nice teeth.

I did not pledge a dime for that show.


07 Mar 05 - 11:30 PM (#1429415)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: Clinton Hammond

Missed it... from the sounds of things, glad I did....

08 Mar 05 - 12:03 AM (#1429432)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: michaelr

Crap, crap, absolute gag-inducing pap along the lines of Riverdance or Irish Tenors. And an insult to all lovers of real celtic music.

If there was a way to take money away from public television, I would have anti-pledged for this shit. They must acquire some taste!


08 Mar 05 - 06:36 PM (#1430067)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: DonMeixner

I was asked who the performers were.

Chloe Agnew, Lisa Kelly, Meav Ni Mhaolchatha, Orlagh Fallon and Mairead Nesbitt.


08 Mar 05 - 06:46 PM (#1430079)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: Alba

Thanks Don.

09 Mar 05 - 05:10 PM (#1430943)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: Rapparee

You mean that's not what Celtic music is all about? And here I was all ready to fly to Ireland so that I could sleep in a rath and be visited by them blonde bean sidhe playing bohdrans.

15 May 05 - 12:55 AM (#1485151)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: GUEST,Jody Cunningham

If you were looking for head banging, look elsewhere. I loved it! I was familiar with most of the songs, the voices were awesome, and I couldn't wait to get the C.D. Danny Boy and Orinoco Flow were just a couple of the songs they picked. Keep singing, ladies!

15 May 05 - 01:11 AM (#1485159)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: GUEST,Bryan Kelso Crow

I was put off by the CD, which just uses everyone's first name, part of what I see as the Enya-fication (and now Meav-ification) of Irish popularized music presentations. Then when I saw the TV show, I was surprised at how badly produced it was, in spite of some likeable arrangements and good vocal energy. The lighting was terrible, the set design made it hard to see the Celtic women (at least on my small TV), and the constantly moving cameras of PBS music programs just leave me... dizzy. The violin player (I doubt that she would be considered a fiddle player by most fiddle players) was all about jerky head movements and flashy jumping around, but when she told the interviewer (former De Danaan singer) that "The Butterfly" was written by O'Carolan, she gave away her true ignorance of the tradition.

15 May 05 - 02:22 AM (#1485183)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: Matt_R

I've never heard of ANY of them

15 May 05 - 04:24 AM (#1485217)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS

*Blonde* women?

19 May 05 - 09:46 PM (#1488735)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS

How dare you! Here's a quartet of girls who can actually sing and all most of you can do is insult them and say how untraditional they were. Honestly people, compared to some singers out there, these girls are incredible. The fiddle player inspired me to start playing fiddle and I only dream of being as good as her one day. I went through all the trouble of going to a different city to find their CD and I don't think I wasted time or money one it.

20 May 05 - 01:38 AM (#1488857)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: Peter Kasin

This thread really shows the range of musical taste here! I was bored by the show. They are all obviously very talented musicians, but I found the packaging of this presentation to be over-produced. It had sweetness and beauty, but lacked fire and passion.

It's not a matter of untraditional vs traditional for me, really, as I loved what Riverdance did with Irish stepdancing. I thought that show was well-produced, imaginative, and exciting. My disappointment with the singing show is not based on a purist definition of this music.

GUEST, if this show inspired you to take up the fiddle, then good! Mairead Nesbitt is a powerful fiddler, no doubt. Though I found the show uninspiring, If it inspired people to open the door and enter, then that in itself is a positive outcome. Lastly, I don't think it's necessarily insulting to the musicians to bash the show; it's how the show was conceived and produced, just as a movie can be trashed for mis-using the talents of a fine actor.



20 May 05 - 05:36 PM (#1489544)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: TheBigPinkLad

Taste is the enemy of art.

20 May 05 - 08:45 PM (#1489680)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: michaelr

BPL -- please explain your statement!


20 May 05 - 09:38 PM (#1489692)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS

Stumbled on this piece of video and loved the crystalline, clean singing. Didn't love every piece but was thrilled to hear the female vocal and harp given a splendid showcase instead of the usual 'here's a session of ten reels from the bys and now our whistle player will sputter out a song in fake-English-madrigal style while we re-tune'.

A warning to others who were charmed by the special--be careful with the CD, some eejit punched up the volume on the background instrumentals to the point where they practically choke the vocals. Wonder if there's anyway to clean up the cuts with a wave editor.

21 May 05 - 03:51 AM (#1489851)
Subject: THE Best music I have heard
From: GUEST,Bill Swisher, Florida

Probably the best voices I have heard in years. With all these pinheads on American Idol, you wonder where these girls have been hiding. I ordered DVD and CD from amazon had a long wait. Does anyone know their producer, I would like to pay for them to come to the US.

21 May 05 - 10:12 PM (#1490388)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: GUEST,B.

Not to worry, there are people out there who think Josh Groban is a classical musician. Since his concerts get played on "Great Performances" and he sings in Italian, it must be true...

Head banging is not what I'm looking for, it's just what I do whenever I turn on PBS these days.

23 May 05 - 02:44 AM (#1491045)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: GUEST,

I've seen this wonderful PBS special and I personally loved it.
It was a wonderful delightful experience, angelic I can't
be moved more by this fabulous grouping.
It sounds as if you are already in Heaven !

23 May 05 - 12:20 PM (#1491345)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: PoohBear

I saw portions of this. I was underwhelmed by the camera work and the sound mix. I did enjoy most of the vocal production. Those ladies all have, at the very least, pleasant voices and seem to know a bit about vocal production - not just how to vocalize as loudly as possible and think they're singing (can you tell what I think of most pop 'stars'?) I agree that it seemed over produced, and if you're looking for 'traditional' performances this wasn't it. But the positive of this type of programming is introducing people to a music form they might not otherwise have discovered. And being introduced to something new, in a format/sound somewhat similar to what one is used to hearing will often times lead one to explore further and be more willing to listen to more and different sounds. Just my 2 cents. . .

23 May 05 - 12:44 PM (#1491365)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: Barry T

Well said, Pooh Bear! Both applause and mild constructive criticism are warranted for the production, but what a pleasant contrast it was with the normal pop tripe that frequents our television screens.

My wife now pokes fun at me now for being part of the 'generation gap'. That upset me at first, because I pride myself in having a wide latitude in musical tastes. Then I discovered what was driving me nuts about *current* pop music: it's all in 4/4 time; it's all within about 10 beats per minute the same tempo; and, the drum track is nearly identical... perhaps performed by machine, not human. Geez, even Elvis sang in 3/4 time occasionally!

To PBS I say, 'Good on ya! Give us more!'

23 May 05 - 07:12 PM (#1491646)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: ElwynnMaxon

I try and watch everything at least twice that I didn't like the first time I saw it. What I saw both times was pretty women with nice voices. The show reminded me a lot of dinner at a Tadds Steak House in NYC. A lot of sizzle and not much steak.

I liked the harpist and the violinist very much. They played quite well. But by and large it was bland with an over arching theme of dull.

I watched this program twice as I say but I can't remember a single bit of lyric. A side from what I heard as pretty fair instrumentation I can't recall a single tune.

Like cotton candy in a pretty box. You remember the package long after the taste of the cotton candy is gone.


24 May 05 - 09:46 AM (#1491923)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS

It was more "traditional" than much of the rock-influenced ceili-band bull perpetrated by the current 'trad' industry. It was the sound of young Irish women singing in their own way and it was beautiful. Unbelievable the amount of vitriol y'all have for this music and how brainwashed you are about what is and isn't traditional. Sheez. If you don't like it turn it off but quit acting like the rest of us are misguided because we appreciate something outside your narrow definitions.

24 May 05 - 10:13 AM (#1491942)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: Burke

Does anyone know their producer, I would like to pay for them to come to the US.

Never heard of this group before I walked past a theater in Minneapolis with posters for coming attractions. I was there for a vist. My nephew & his wife got excited. I remember they were going to be there in Oct, so I'd imagine they'll be elsewhere in the US as well.

24 May 05 - 10:14 AM (#1491943)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: GUEST,Loree Toben

Are you the same guest whining on the do origins matter thread?

26 May 05 - 09:09 PM (#1494003)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: GUEST,Bob

I guess if I new anything about the tradition, I might have been turned off. I thought it was very pretty to relaxing. Seems some people had a very odd reaction to this production.

27 May 05 - 11:52 AM (#1494321)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS

No, I'm not the same guest.

27 May 05 - 05:58 PM (#1494623)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: DonMeixner

How dare I? How dare I what? Have an opinion? Disagree with the herd? Sign my own name and put it out front so I can be replied too?

I dare lots of things. Do you?

I have had the chance to watch this show again since I began the thread. Someone at work had the show on video tape so I borrowed it and watched the show again.

This is one of those like it or don't momments.

I liked the woman who played the harp. Mairead Nesbitt IS a fine fiddler. She reminded me of Andre Rieu but with much nicer hair. The girl who was clearly a Charlotte Church wanna be was very good. I have no complaint about the talent. But this was clearly packaged for the visual appeal of the show and less for the music.

If just one of these women where 50lbs to the plus and a little on the homely side I could agree that it was a better show than it was.
But just like Nashville Music this was more sold by eye appeal than it was about the music.

I doubt Maura O'Connell would stand a chance of getting on this show if she was new to the business no matter how good her voice is. That goes the same for Jo Dee Messina and Trisha Yearwood if this was a Nashville show. All great voices but just a little too chubby or too plain.

I have to agree with myself on this. I'm glad it was someone's cup of tea. It just wasn't mine.

Don "That Old Daredevil" Meixner

04 Jun 05 - 06:30 PM (#1500280)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: GUEST,Guest

They have wonderful voices but I couldn't help thinking as I watched that they were all lip syncing. Can't prove it just felt too staged as others have described it.

Also, I have little knowledge of Celtic music but I doubt this is truly representative.

04 Jun 05 - 10:23 PM (#1500341)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: GUEST,John

When I saw this show, actually by accident while channel surfing, I was mesmerized by this music . It was so beautiful!!! I went online and purchased the DVD. It is recorded fantastic, to have a full blown orchestra behind the girls and hearing the instruments come through crystal clear was amazing. I have a very fine stereo set up with surround, so if this was recoreded badly I would hear it. The voices are beautifully stunning and soothing. There is one song where the girls sing a four part harmony with no instruments!! I strongly feel that anyone who thinks this show is garbage is either tone deaf, or has no idea what beautiful music really is!!!!I wonder what Simon would say to these girls(grin). PBS says the concert will be performed July 30 at the Merriam theater in Philadelphia, but when I went online to Merriam site the concert is not showing on their calender. WHATS UP???? I want so much to see this show in person. Where are they performing????? HELP!!!

04 Jun 05 - 10:27 PM (#1500344)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: GUEST,Referee

I think they are performing at the Rosemont Theater (near Chicago O'Hare airport) this summer. The blonde violinist also performed with Michael Flatley's Irish Dancing group.

05 Jun 05 - 09:19 PM (#1500838)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: GUEST,Kevin

Taste is everything. This is about the 4th time I've run across this show and listened to part/most of it while I was involved in something else. So I don't know jack about over-production and when I did see the TV, I'd only rank 2 of the 5 women as pretty, so that wasn't why I think it was a great show. I just thought the music was hauntingly beautiful! I also have no idea as to the authenticity of the music to being truly Celtic, but that is no matter if it is beautiful to my ears. As I say to my wife, "It was enough to please me!"

05 Jun 05 - 09:25 PM (#1500840)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: GUEST,pjb1671

The show is on now as a repeat on PBS in my area. It makes
wonderful background music as I "surf" and "work" on the computer.
Certainly beats watching most of what's on the other stations.

Nice voices, some of the songs are truly haunting, and yep, the girls do have nice teeth. I wouldn't order the CD, but I certainly
don't think it's "crap." It's a pleasant, mushy, happy little show.
That's not all bad.

05 Jun 05 - 10:20 PM (#1500861)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: GUEST,jerrystjo2000

Fantastic program. My wife called me away from running electricity in the new barn. She thought that I might like the program --- I did. Unfortunately, we do not get good music like this on the normal TV stations--- only PBS.

What I like is what I like--- does not make any difference if it follows the "rules" for being traditional Irish or German or Russian music. Unfortunately, some folks seem to have some very narrow likes in music.

For those folks who did find the program to be entertaining, come to Kansas City on 4 August. The Celtic Women will be doing an outside concert at the Starlight Theatre.

Do be having a great day --- from St. Joseph, Missouri.

05 Jun 05 - 11:08 PM (#1500876)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: frogprince

I wrote the first review for this show, a while before the thread appeared. Had it all written, the computer ate it, and I was too fried to do it over. I frankly loved the singing itself, and the "fiddlin"; My quibbles were that I too considered it overproduced, in that the singing was sometimes almost buried in orchestration, and that for my part they could have stayed with material in the tradition, which was what they were singing at the point I tuned in, instead of straying into Broadway and pop pap. But anytime you can turn on any broadcast media and hear genuine singing, I'm not about to slam dunk it.

05 Jun 05 - 11:21 PM (#1500882)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: frogprince

Oops; my review is there, in another thread I started before seeing the first posts of this thread; my thread died a-borning, which was to be expected since this was already running. That's what I get for shooting first and asking questions later. I posted it as "Celtic women on Michigan public television"

05 Jun 05 - 11:36 PM (#1500886)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS

I'm a rudy-skinned ceili-band bohdran player, and I enjoyed the music. The title is "Celtic Women" and not "Lads Playing Reels," and it delivered on that promise. (Although I was suprised at all the blond hair and arched eyebrows.) The video production was awful, the MTV-style quick edits don't work at all for this style of production. Not the most raucus concert I've ever seen, but an enjoyable evening.

BTW, they are starting a U.S. tour on October 5 in Phoenix.

05 Jun 05 - 11:44 PM (#1500887)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS

I have enjoyed the music. Not everyone enjoys everything. All I can say to people who put other people down, is I juess you don't sleep well at night. God Bless You.

06 Jun 05 - 12:08 AM (#1500892)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: Blackcatter

My girlfriend and I began watching it tonight. She's new to Irish stuff. About 20 minutes in, I turned it off and put in my Gael Rising DVD. Much better.

06 Jun 05 - 01:03 PM (#1501191)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: Highlandman

For my part, there's a bit to agree with in everyone's comments.

I enjoyed the musical selections. The voices were excellent, the harpist was engaging but the fiddler didn't impress me (most any fiddler does, actually, so that's saying a lot).

IMO there were two dead giveaways that they were lypsynching -- the laughable little headset mics and the lack of visible means of support for the very good vocal production -- but so what if they were, considering it was a made-for-TV gig.

What I found disappointing was that the overriding production value was eye candy rather than a genuine passion for the music. But I wouldn't ding the performers for that. They can't help it if they're attractive any more than I can help that I'm -- well, not. ;-)

I'll be on the lookout for these ladies to appear in another format, but I won't support this program.

btw, this is my official First Post here -- this is a terrific community.

06 Jun 05 - 02:13 PM (#1501234)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: Den

Actually in her defence Máiréad (the fiddle player) wasn't playing what she normally plays. She is an All Ireland Fiddle Champion. She has also been a violinist for the RTE Concert Orchestra so she has good credentials. Check out her website for more of her playing Here

I thought that in the main the show was a bit sweet for my tastes but that was definately a beautiful version of the Isle of Innisfree by the Harp player. I'm not sure of her name.

26 Jun 05 - 07:13 PM (#1510581)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: GUEST,Donn C

You don't pledge for A SHOW, you dork. You pledge for Public Broadcasting.

With that tin ear, perhaps you failed to hear the millionth announcement saying, "Support this station."

26 Jun 05 - 10:13 PM (#1510672)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: Don Firth

Dork yourself!

I've been a member of my local PBS station for decades now, and I intend to continue supporting them (and my local NPR station) despite their occasional warts. And tin ear? I don't think so.

What I said stands. These "Pledge Break Specials" amount to false advertising. My guess is that the people who tune in to watch this sort of thing are not particularly interested in Masterpiece Theatre, Nova, or Live from Lincoln Center, or other standard offerings and rarely actually join, and those who are interested in the best PBS has to offer do go ahead and send in their check--but how many times can you turn on the TV to watch something you regularly watch, only to find Wayne Dyer holding forth--yet again!--before you just don't bother to watch during pledge breaks?

When they offer a new special, such as Celtic Woman, I usually watch, hoping against hope, but all too often these shows are pure pap. Andre Rieu, anybody? How about Yanni? Every damned pledge break. Give me a break!

'Smatter, you got the hots for the harpist or something?

Don Firth

26 Jun 05 - 10:45 PM (#1510685)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: GUEST,jykmoy

I can't understand the musical snobs criticising what is beautiful music sung with senstivity and clarity. I loved them! Besides youthful good looks and soothing voices I found this concert to be refreshing compared to the screaming, shouting voices today that passes for popular music. I was impressed with the audience reactions on the screen ..largely intergenerational. And their enjoyment was so obvious. Thanks PBS - for making my day!

26 Jun 05 - 10:55 PM (#1510690)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS

i thought it was pussy.

27 Jun 05 - 04:15 PM (#1511160)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: Don Firth

GUEST,jykmoy, it's not a matter of musical snobbery. You're right, the young ladies were attractive, they sang well, and the whole performance was very nice. But this is a folk music web site. Most of the people who check in here are pretty sophisticated when it comes to matters of traditional music, and when they see something labeled as "Celtic," they tend to expect that it will be a bit more genuinely--traditionally--Celtic than this was.

The general thrust of my earlier comment was that the show was quite nice and go ahead and watch it if you want, but if you're looking for genuine traditional music tradtitionally performed, don't get your expectations up.

John McCormack was a great Irish tenor. So are the various Irish tenors who have appeared in PBS pledge breaks within the past couple of years. They sing a lot of Celtic music, and they do it magnificently. I've watched them and I love the shows. But their style of singing is operatic, not traditional, and if you're looking for "tradtional," you're not going to find it there.

Now, lest I be misunderstood, I have nothing against the operatic style of singing. I have records and CDs up the ziggy of opera, including several full-length opera recordings and I was for years a season ticket holder at Seattle Opera. But if Placido Domingo were to do a pledge break special singing Scottish ballads, I might say "go ahead and watch it if you like because you might find it interesting, but don't expect the songs to be sung in a traditional manner. Be forewarned."

There. I think that's clear enough.

Don Firth

27 Jun 05 - 05:40 PM (#1511232)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: JedMarum

I'm also regular PBS watcher and subscriber, and like Becky - during pledge week my tube's off! The last few years they've brough in such CRAP for music find drive, trying to appeal to each part of their viewership - but they've brought mostly crap!

I couldn't watch this show - maybe it's because I know the recent PBS specials shows like this are all watered down, high pop/flash appeal to their specific genre, and almost NO taste, art and heart ...

or maybe it's because the one piece I saw/heard was a mediocre singer with a pretty face on WOW tv stage - performing a John Tesh arrangement of an ancient Celtic Myth song ...

I hate to be so cynical - but there is some real and highly developed talent out there - performing highly developed art with real skill and heart. Why round up the local beauty queens from the Rose of Tralee fest and fake a show of Celtic Music?

28 Jun 05 - 11:44 AM (#1511702)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: Maryrrf

I saw part of the "Celtic Women" concert and thought it was very "airy fairy". I didnt' enjoy it and turned to a different channel. Regarding opera singers performing folk - I once bought an album of Placido Domingo singing Argentinian tangos. I love tangos, they're passionate, gritty, all emotion. Placido Domingo's voice was magnificent but his phrasing was awful and the songs sounded totally canned and stilted - I felt that he murdered those tangos. Perhaps that's too strong a word, but he sure sapped them of their vitality. Thats one album I literally threw in the garbage.

28 Jun 05 - 12:29 PM (#1511735)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: GUEST,Rich Chiuppi

Nothing creative or artistic
This has already been done!
Show me something new, creative and tasteful.

The fiddle playing was dry and unmoving. Just play the notes and look pretty.

This made me sick...
next on PBS "Celtic Men" followed by "Celtic Childern" and next week "Reality Celtic TV"

29 Jun 05 - 07:17 PM (#1512840)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: GUEST,

You can no more call songs sung in English "Celtic Music" than could you call something sung in Mandarin a "Cowboy Ballad."

English is the language of the country that conquered and oppresses all Celtic peoples.

Suas leis a' Ghaidhlig, leis a' Ghaeilge, leis a' Ghaelg, agus suas do thòin leis a' chac sgrìosail a chunnaic mi air "Celtic Women."

Now ask me what I really think...

11 Jul 05 - 01:16 AM (#1519744)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: GUEST,endtimes12

Well, I've read all these posts and it's almost scary. The critical and lynching spirit of the sharing is so petty.

First of all, the presentation was not CELTIC MUSIC. It was CELTIC WOMEN singing some popular folk music. There's is a whole world of difference here.

This was made to simply be entertaining, not a documentary on a culture. It was also aimed at the generic population that it may be understood and appreciated by the largest number of people.

The good people, and there's no reason to believe they are not good people, really need to be credited for their attractive, and to many, their mesmerizing performance.

Say what one may, but my entire being calms and settles just watching and listening to these remarkably talented women. They give glory to their maker at a time when most music is nothing but self-loving noise.

Believers Hope Pen Pal Friends

11 Jul 05 - 03:57 PM (#1520182)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: michaelr

It was also aimed at the generic population that it may be understood and appreciated by the largest number of people.

That's exactly the problem. Playing to the lowest common denominator can't help but dilute, even corrupt, any art.


11 Jul 05 - 04:59 PM (#1520240)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: PoohBear

I see your point about this program playing to the 'lowest common denominator', however, I don't think it necessarily, 'can't help but dilute, even corrupt, any art'. I agree that can do that - but I think it can also introduce people to a form or type or genre of music that they might not otherwise be aware of. An introduction to something 'new' (read - unfamiliar), done in a common or fairly familiar format can often be a lead into exploration of the 'new' territory. It would be great to have a 'Celtic Women' performance of traditional music, sung in Gaelic, with on amplification, fancy staging/lighting, etc., and no regard to how 'photogenic' the performers may be, but I do think that the program, as presented, does have a valid place. It would have been nice if their program breaks could have included discussions on the origins of the music, instruments, original language, interpretations and translation process - but that's probably too 'in depth' for pledge week!

11 Jul 05 - 08:59 PM (#1520429)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: GUEST,Seonaid

A Sheumais --
Tog go bog e!
Let's leave the linguistics out of it. As Percy French once said, English may not be the old language, but it's the one we all know.
Mind you, I do sing in a couple of kinds of Gaelic, but I've translated a lot of verses into English just so people in my area will be able to understand them. But onstage, in workshops and in the liner notes of my trio's CD, I also encourage people to learn the originals once they've wrapped their heads around the concept.   
Those Barbie dolls on PBS were not Queen Medb, granted. I would have called the show "Irish Cuties Warble 4U" or something. For some nice *real* Celtic stuff, check out Barbary Grant's CD's -- songs in English, Irish, Scottish, Manx, & Welsh; clairseach (yep -- real wire strings); and both ancient and modern sources. (She has a website somewhere.)
Now we just have to convince PBS to put someone like her on, in addition to the Cuties.

11 Jul 05 - 09:10 PM (#1520434)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: michaelr

Hear hear, Seonaid! Thank you for the perspective of one who knows the wheat from the chaff.

I can well understand the average viewer being pleasantly entertained by the program. But if you've made a bit of a study of Irish music, you can't help but be aware that a show like this is a pale imitation of the real thing.


11 Jul 05 - 09:16 PM (#1520436)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: Alba

Agreed Michael. Well said Seonaid.

12 Jul 05 - 12:32 PM (#1520570)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS

Anyone who has studied Irish music should know Mairead's credentials? It isn't her fault she doesn't look like the back end of a bus.

13 Jul 05 - 07:48 PM (#1521418)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: michaelr

Well, one of Mairead Nesbitt's most recent credentials was that she toured the world with that abomination, "Lord of the Dance".

But then, what I and others found wanting in the Celtic Women show was not about Mairead and her looks. Reread the thread, Guest, if you can be bothered.

17 Jul 05 - 05:31 AM (#1522793)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: GUEST,

No matter what some of you people think.....this was a fantastic show! My personal favorite was every song by Chloë Agnew, who is a very talented young woman. I'd dearly love to hear any of you try to sing like that.....or do anything productive come to think of it. This music is heavenly, that's probably why you don't like it.

Most of these reviews reflect an airhead mentality. Very sad....but all too common. Do not pass GO, do not collect $200. Go back to your heavy metal. Sorry but that's how I see it.

17 Jul 05 - 08:11 AM (#1522852)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: Le Scaramouche

I think the problem people have is they don't feel much commitment to the music. Just an 'I'm personable and my voice doesn't curdle milk' sort of thing.

17 Jul 05 - 10:47 AM (#1522929)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: DonMeixner


I don't sing like that because I can't. I sing like me. I sing like I do on four separate CDs. One CD is produced by the people on board to promote the history of the Erie Canal and to raise money for the small museums and libraries along the old canal bed. Every cent produced by me on that CD goes to the support of the canal and it's history.

I have also produced support for traditional American and British Isles music in Central New York for the last 30 years. A good third of m performances are benefits or out right donations to museums, living history sites, and institutions like Mudcat.

The heaviest metal I play is an old Ode Long Neck 5 which is mostly unsuited for Metalica or White Zombie.

I produce silver jewelry that makes for me a nice suplimental income.
But of the jewelry I produce and sell annually better than 15% is given away in donations for causes such as The Mudcat, Cystic Fibrosis research, local churches of any denomination, libraries, and fundraisers for people in need of help.

Don't presume to think that because I and several others don't care for this particular piece of video are unproductive drones.
The amount of people who in this forum who have donated craft work, personal property, and money in the effort to keep it going is difficult to measure. But like me they all give their fair share and more of their non-productivity. And that gives us all the right to have an opinion.


25 Jul 05 - 02:14 AM (#1527567)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: GUEST,Tony

I started watching this and immediately thought "It's all lip-synched!"

I've been a musician for 25 years now. The notes during fiddle segments do NOT correlate to the fingering being done. Watch the tongues and throats during vibrato. Fake. They don't even breath while "singing". Everyone! Look carefully next time this is on. Note the camera work shys away during close-ups from the hands. Boy this is making angry.

05 Apr 07 - 05:16 PM (#2017676)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS

21 months later, and the thread lives ....Just reading some posts, and am amazed at the negativity displayed by some people. I would sure hate to perform for you live, not matter how good I was, I would be run out of town by somebody. Ive seen the first PBS (actually the DVD) show (the one these reviews is based on), and now they have another, live from Slane Castle in Ireland. The second is much better, IMO, but still contains a few editing snafoos. Overall though, it was a very enjoyable experience and makes me want to see them perform live. You see, I take Celtic Woman for what it is, 6 (they added one) beautiful women performing songs from various musical genres and styles all with a celtic 'flavour'. Very entertaining, and at the end of the day, isn't that what it's all about ?

06 Apr 07 - 12:05 PM (#2018304)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS

Saw 'em on T.V. last week meself and i thought they were shite! .But that's only my opinion of course .At the time I also thought that there was no way that young wan could lep around in her transparent shift and play the fiddle so perfectly at the same time .The young Agnew wan looks very like her mother , the Motormouth of Irish showbiz "Zip up yer mickey " Twink.Not sure if that's a compliment though.

06 Apr 07 - 12:17 PM (#2018311)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: AWG

Oh Mariner, everyone has an opinion, and thats the beauty of these forums, everyone can share theirs with the world. (no matter how ridiculous it may seem). P.S. Isnt Maraid awesome ? GO TWINK !! :)

06 Apr 07 - 12:46 PM (#2018343)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: Stringsinger

This group has generated more divisiveness than the Dixie Chicks.

As to the lip-synching and the fiddle playing not matching the fingering, I'm not sure about that. I annotated the Contradiction Reel and have been learning to play it. It's quite a lovely piece of music. I learned it from watching Mairead's fingering.

As for any one person or group being representative of Ireland, I say hogwash. There is a town in Ireland where the inhabitants can't even agree on the pronuciation of its name. The idea that any one form of musical expression or group is representative of a country is the height of chauvinism or xenophobia. Who arrogates to themselves the ability to determine what music represents more fully the country of its origin?

They tried this in the US congress a while back trying to pass a bill making the Square Dance the national dance form of America. Fortunately it was ill-advised and failed.

I say that those that claim they are more "Irish than thou" are full of it.

The CW may not be to everyone's taste and that's legitimate. But to trash it the way some have done here is indicative of their ignorance shown by specious arguments.

To have an opinion that they don't like the production or the singing is one thing but to dismiss it as being somehow inferior because it happens to be successfully commercial and entertaining with indisputably talented people working on it is more folk snobbery and limited knowledge about anything that is outside of their prejudices.

So some of you don't like it. That's cool. But to trash it by an attitude that somehow because of its popularity and high production value is the height of genuine arrogance.

I also think that personal attacks on the individuals who they don't like is not productive or educative.

Tolerance, people.

Frank Hamilton

06 Apr 07 - 12:50 PM (#2018349)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: AWG

Ive said it before, and Ill say it again... Frank Hamilton is a man who knows what he's talking about !! It's like a 'breath of fresh air' around here. P.S. Gotta love the Dixie Chicks !! Oh wait, maybe they are TOO good looking, better trash them instead ! C Ya.

06 Apr 07 - 12:58 PM (#2018358)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: Big Mick

Two points for AWG. Glad you are here, and welcome. If you take a bit of time and examine some of the old threads you will find that injecting emotion is not something Mudcat is short of.

Also, for AWG, Frank Hamilton IS a good man. And you should Google his name so you realize who he is.

For all of the rest ...... listen to Frank. He has hit it on the head.   Irish music is not a museum piece. This whole idea of "traditional" is a load of bollox. The only thing that is constant and traditional in Irish music is that it will adapt to the times. It's relevance across hundreds of years probably has more to do with the production values of the times than anything else.

They look good, they sound fantastic, they bring honor to the tradition. Undo your collars, loosen your belts, ...... and revel in it.

Le gach dea-mhéin,      


06 Apr 07 - 01:10 PM (#2018364)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: AWG

Hey Mick, thanks. Couldn't agree more. Actually, since I came to this forum on March 20 (17 days), I have 'enticed' over 150 posts on 3 different threads regarding Celtic Woman. Talk about getting the word out and getting people talking about CW. LOL Sounds like there was quite a bit of 'pent up demand' to discuss the 'lassies'. And I agree, 'traditional' might be one of the most over-used words in the english language with regards to music of any type. CW is all about entertaining people, taking older and newer styles and blending with a celtic 'flavour' (in layman's terms). Thus the popularity. I mean, you dont see too many(if any) 'traditional' Irish bands playing 88 shows in under 3 months and selling out every night (4000 or more per show). Ya See ?

06 Apr 07 - 01:35 PM (#2018394)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: Jeri

Most of the posts aren't about the subject, though.

I saw them on TV. If they don't lip sinc, they're very good at what they do. They're pretty, have pretty voices, the video was pretty, like any good video. I think my mom would have loved them, and I can understand why they'd appeal to a lot of people. I just like a bit more energy, some risks and unpredictability. In any event, I thought the show was very nice, and it was undeniably pretty.

06 Apr 07 - 01:40 PM (#2018404)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: AWG

But the majority are, and that's what counts. Get people talking, and thinking, about Celtic Woman. Like you said, Jeri, they do appeal to a lot of people, and isnt that great? The more people an artist can make happy, the better, right??

07 Apr 07 - 07:59 AM (#2018991)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: Bee

"Get people talking, and thinking, about Celtic Woman" - AWG

Sounds like cult behaviour, AWG. ;-)

I gotta agree with many here - they're pretty, sing nicely, and are produced within an inch of the music's life. The one show I saw seemed melodramatic and as far removed from trad music as Riverdance is from old fashioned stepdance. Nothing wrong with either, as they please large audiences. I just ain't part of that audience: prefer my folk/trad music a little cleaner. I want to hear the voices and instruments, not some sound man's creation.

A suggestion, AWG: have a listen to some of the many, many singers and players you'll find discussed on this site, often with links to music.

07 Apr 07 - 09:14 AM (#2019019)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: AWG

I'm not deaf (at least not totally), so I know if something sounds good. Doesn't mean diddly squat to me about so called 'traditional' music or not. Bee, you have a very logical (and self-riteous ?) opinion, and that's fine, to each their own. However, this is a thread to review CW on PBS (remember) so please lets do that shall we...Ok then, where was I... Oh yeah, PBS does an amazing job with this production of Celtic Woman, missing it is to say your life is far from complete. Better yet, buy the DVD and you probably wont leave the house for months !! The music of CW doesn't get any 'cleaner'(and quite frankly, under-produced IMO)(and Riverdance is probably the best display of classic and/or traditional dance out there today. P.S. I love all music if it sounds good. ** see Spice Girls, or anything involving David Downes *** Thank you for listening.

27 May 08 - 04:42 AM (#2349909)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: GUEST,screamingbuffalo1969

As a musician, 55 years, sound engineer,(owner studio in L.A.), worked with top performers, Jackson, Starr, Turner, Wonder, ELO, among a few, and written a soundtrack for a film, plus performed in many live concerts, I have never been so impressed by any group as much as Celtic Woman, since the Beatles,(but for different reasons). The production was great, and for once, they brought out, that wholesomeness can be both seductive, and sexier, than the cheap trash that has been shoved down our throats!! Maev and Hayley, were probably the most technically, polished, while Lisa had the corner on expression, not to mention great material given to her. Mairead(fiddler/violinist), was a whole package to herself, and placed well, as not to over expose her. David Downes, is brilliant in his vocal arrangements, as well as orchestrations. When I started watching the first concert, at the Helix Centre, i was scrutinizing it all as it aired, and while trying to decide, if I was liking it, I found myself smiling for the first 35 minutes! These are world class musicians , and performers, who underplay the limits, while raising the bar. The reason a lot of you folks don't get it, is because you've been desensitized to finer quality, by eating up the trash and imperfection, rammed at us, by 'commercial' media. Saw them at Red Rocks, and they were great, especially the last(improvised?) piece at the end with Mairead Nesbitt on fiddle. Love to meet them. God Bless you all!

27 May 08 - 05:21 AM (#2349933)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: Jim Lad

I watched a bit of it a couple of weeks ago.
I'm afraid to say that it looked to me like they were playing to a sound track.
Other than that..... Didn't come close to what real Celtic Music should sound like.
You just can't make a big production out of something that's meant to be played around the dinner table and keep the authenticity.
Might put a smile on the face of those high falutin' types that weren't raised with the stuff but not for wee Jimmy.
May the Good Lord bless and keep yous all from me too!

Oggie: Is that you?

29 May 08 - 04:34 AM (#2351716)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: GUEST,screamingbuffalo1969

Whether it a soundtrack, or not..they still sung it...I saw them live in concert....looked live to me....but what do I know.....I'm just a recording engineer.......

29 May 08 - 04:13 PM (#2352355)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS
From: Barry Finn

I guess we just don't get it. I watched it for a short while & went to the News. Couldn't be bothered, they were good though, just not what I like in my cup of tea.


29 May 08 - 06:31 PM (#2352493)
Subject: RE: Review: Celtic Women on PBS

It is live on the tour. Having said that, not ALL the songs are live. Some are recorded tracks but they SING to a recorded track so if you are close enough to the stage you can still hear their unamplified voices. They do that to trick your perception. THIS IS A FACT, Not theory. Ie got the breakdown of what is recorded tracks and what is live from Lisa's and Orlagh's former webmaster who I am really good friends with. Orlagh confirmed this in an email but until recently we have kept this information "hush, hush."

You have to understand that CW LTD and PBS are engaged major consumer fraud whan it comes to this show. I personally have filed consumer protection complaints for fraud and theft last year. You can read the full report submitted here. Belive me its a real eyeopener. As long as EMI, Dave Kavanagh, Scott Porter and Lisa contine to decieve peopple and rip them off I wont support them.