Album Review by: elfslut
The Gothard Sisters return with their sixth album, Story Girl. The sisters, who range in age from 16 to 24, will delight listeners’ ears with their wonderful violin playing. The album features songs written by the sisters as well as some traditional songs from Celtic nations.
Each sister brings to the group something special, though all are superb violinists. Greta plays guitar and does a good deal of the arranging. Willow plays mandolin as well as the bodhran. Solana plays the bodhran as well as some other percussion, but she also handles the lead vocals in the group. Together, The Gothard Sisters create wonderful Celtic music.
Story Girl is exactly has what fans have come to love about The Gothard Sisters—energetic melodies, ethereal vocals and plenty of Celtic Spirit. The album opens with the spirited “The Sailor and The Mermaid,” an instrumental that will have feet tapping from start to finish. It is also one of the album’s original compositions. “Celebration Reel” sounds just as the title implies—a song with a melody that is festive. The violin playing is infectious and may even inspire those with two left feet to try some Irish dancing.
Solana’s vocal on the old favorite, “Scarborough Fair,” will please those who appreciate more traditional interpretations and arrangements. Solana’s vocals are pure and untouched by any fancy mixing. She handles songs such as “Scarborough Fair” and “Raglan Road” beautifully. The vocals are simple and stunning. Her voice can be likened to an angel’s.
“Lucille” is a more modern-sounding tune. This ballad is pure romance. The violin seems to coax listeners into an embrace. Even as the tempo picks up, the melody still calls out to the heart.
One of the other traditional songs featured on Story Girl is “A Girl You Don’t Meet Every Day.” This is an old Irish song; one recording that many may be familiar with was done by The Pogues, with Cait O’Riordan handling vocals. There’s quite a difference between Cait’s vocal, which sounds almost gruff, and Solana’s soft, lilting vocal.
“The Fields of Athenry” is a newer Irish folk ballad. The song was written by Pete St. John in the seventies and recorded by artists such as The Dubliners and James Galway. Once again, Solana’s vocal brings a certain lightness and innocence to a song that deals with the Great Irish Famine.
One of the instrumentals that really stands out is “The Three Coins.” It is a jaunty tune that not only showcases some wonderful violin playing but the percussion as well.
“Midsummer Jigs” is a fun instrumental. There are certain songs that can compel people to move. This is one of them. It is lively and infectious, and it makes you want to dance a jig!
The album closes with “Marching On,” another instrumental, though this one is much more mellow in comparison to “The Three Coins.”
Story Girl is one of those rare albums that can be enjoyed from start to finish. Greta, Willow and Solana have a way of bringing life to the music so that each song is a unique listening experience. The album is a perfect mixture of vocal tracks and instrumentals. In this mix, the listener gets to hear the remarkable talent of these three sisters.
This album is a perfect introduction to the genre. The Gothard Sisters’ playing and singing will entice anyone to take a deeper listen to their music and other music in the Celtic genre.
The Gothard Sisters are at the top of their game with Story Girl. At their young ages, it boggles the mind where they are headed musically from here.
This is the perfect addition to anyone’s music collection, but for lovers of Celtic music, this is the must-have album of the year.
Sounds Like: Celtic Woma
Released: Nov 1, 2011