Imagine Sarah McLachlan
giving herself more fully to a Celtic muse, leavened with the drier tone of, say, the more traditional June Tabor
. Indeed, Bones
, while remaining complex and sinuous, offers all the requisite hooks to generate the attention and airplay afforded a McLachlan
, without evoking one of the many carbon copies floating around. In particular, "Snakes" smacks of a sure-chorused popular single, McKeown
willfully challenging its hit potential toward the end by segueing into an emotional Gaelic rap. "Westron Wynde/Westlin Winds" delivers the kind of multi-paced, multi-faceted drama that past fans of progressive folk-rock band Renaissance
pine to hear vocalist Annie Haslam
record. Talented backing group the Chanting House
and guests deftly fuse contemporary folk-rock with bouzouki, uilleann pipes, hurdy gurdy, bagpipes and cello without ever stealing centre stage.
Although out for some time now on McKeown's
own Sheila-na-Gig imprint, Bones
has recently been picked up for national distribution in the U.S. by New York's ingenious 1-800-Prime CD label -- the name is also the toll-free number which can be called from anywhere in North America to order the disc.