By Orla Fallon
Orla Fallon – Vocals, Salvi Egan Harp
Dan Shea – Piano, Keyboards, Guitars, Bass, Percussion, Accordion, Whistle & Programming
Jimmy Smyth – Acoustic Guitar on (1,4,5,8)
Ilya Toshinskiy – Acoustic Guitar, Bozouki, Mandolin (2.11)
Sinead Madden – Fiddle (1,5,9), Background Vocals
Mary Pitchford – Fiddle (11)
John O’Brian – Uilleann Pipes (1,9), Whistle (1,5,8,9)
Todd Denman – Uilleann Pipes, Whistle (11)
Paul Moore – Bass (1,4,5,8,9)
Mark Hill – Bass (11)
Noel Eccles – Percussion (1,4,6,8,9)
Shannon Forrest – Drums (2)
The Wildwood Studio Orchestra (11)
Dublin Gospel Choir (1,6)
The Dubliners (10,11)
many additional choir members…
For those who do not know Orla Fallon, she is a former member of the Celtic all female super group Celtic Woman. Hopefully you have seen the group in concert or on Public Television. Orla is also well known as a harpist. She left Celtic Woman in 2009, after just 4 years, for a solo career.
Get more information about Orla and her music here:
Orla Fallon Celtic Music Review
This is a review of her album “My Land” because she does tour Pennsylvania and we were asked to review it. We couldn’t refuse. It is a pride-inducing traditional album full of the Irish rooted sounds and words that go with the well known Irish culture that so many of us love. There are also a few contemporary non-Irish folk songs included on the CD.
It is a musical journey that shows the Irish love for the land and Orla’s own pride in her home country and her own life. We may call it a poetic tale of Orla’s highs and lows on the path of life as well as her memories and dreams. It is hard to say anything negative about “My Land” because in its class, of female led Celtic CD’s, it is a good album and deserves your attention. It will not be everyone’s style of music since for the most part it consists of a very good and clear female singer and harp player (although there is not a lot of harp on this one) singing traditional style songs. It will make great driving music!
Notes on individual songs:
“Mo Ghile Mear”
I’ve heard several renditions of this traditional song over the years. I am not sure of the correct tempo as it seems to be arranged differently depending on the artist. This is a fast version, sung with a ton of gusto including broad instrumentation and choir. A very happy rendition indeed! A great start to the CD.
Orla’s airy, gentle voice shines on this somewhat contemplative song reminiscent of Alison Krauss.
“Morning Has Broken”
I’ll admit that Cat Stevens still does my favorite version of this song and it is one of my favorite songs of all time. Orla’s version is well done, and the Irish influence is interesting. Her gentle, light, soft voice seems to match the tune and weight of the words very well.
“Ni Na La”
If you aren’t tapping to this one, you may not be human. I loved it!
“Down to the River to Pray” (with Dublin Gospel Choir)
Orla is giving all other folk singers a run for their money with this song. This is a short unbelievable gospel song that gives me the chills and inspiration every time I hear it. It will do the same for you.
“Isle of Innisfree”
Chills and more chills! Orla’s harp and singing take center stage. She does have a beautiful voice, especially on certain songs, with unerring steadiness and tone.
“Both Sides Now”
This is a very cool version of this folk song popularly done by Judy Collins (but written by Joni Mitchell). I liked this one better than the Judy Collins version.
“Red is the Rose” (with Tommy Fleming)
My oh my. This is simply beautiful. The tune is “Loch Lomond” with words that are fit for an Irish love song.
Resembling a folk lullaby, only with a fuller sound, the heartwarming words may bring a tear of pride to your eye if you have Irish blood (or even if you don’t).
“Spanish Lady” (live with the Dubliners)
If you know Celtic music you probably heard this one before. It really is Orla singing about an “Irish Lady” and not a “Spanish” one. A very beautiful rendition sure to give you chills once more.
“I’ll Tell Me Ma” (live with the Dubliners, featuring Damien Dempsey)
Another familiar tune, this is very grass roots Irish folk. Orla’s voice is as clear as a bell even live.
Buy this CD at stores or here: