Rathkeltair -Lets Talk Celtic Music

Rathkeltair Celtic Music GroupAlbum – “Something Good for a Change”


Rathkeltair is a very popular Celtic festival band and we suggest attending a festival where they are playing to check them out live. Rathkeltair are based in Jacksonville Beach, Florida and have been on the road full-time since 2003.


The bands veteran members are singer, songwriter and guitarist Trevor Tanner, former front man for The Bolshoi . He writes much of the original material for the band and is an excellent writer. The other mainstay members are Bagpiper Neil Anderson and drummer Nick Watson, both of whom were in 7 Nations in the early years. On “Something Good for a Change” they are joined by bassist Billy Thornton, who has been touring with the band since 2006.

The sound engineering on “Something Good for a Change” is not the best I have heard. I’d like to hear this same CD recorded from a top notch studio. Several of the instruments seem over-dominated on some of the tracks.

Tracks on this CD:

Something Good for a Change
A “British Invasion” style track. Not a bad piece and relaxing to listen to.

More Tetley Vicar
Instrumental with an interesting title. Here we have a more rocking song with good bagpipes from Neil Anderson ! A quite interesting mix of modern electric guitar, drum or bongo rhythms and bagpipes that begs to be listened to a few times. I’d like to hear more of this style from the band. It seems to border on a Celtic progressive rock, which almost no one is doing. One of my favorites on the CD.

What It Is
A bluesy contemplative folk-style song. Another pleasant song to relax to, but don’t expect any Celtic influences. Trevor Tanner has a really good voice for this style of music.

Down in the City
Moderate bluesy country rock. Neil Anderson sings, and does it well.

How the Irish Saved My Life
This would be a great Celtic festival song. It’s peppy with a nice toe tapping beat, great bass and easy sing-along words.

The Big Riff Set
Instrumental. This one is heavy on bagpipes, electric guitar and electric bass. I enjoyed hearing the combination of these instruments as it was unique and created multiple layers. The track slowly builds up to a rowdier more complex ending.

All About You
I did liked the background bagpipe which made the song for me, and would have liked that a little more prominent throughout the song (it comes in stronger at the end). Nice little twist in the lyrics at the end.

Spanish Chicken
A swingy Spanish western number. This is another one to sing to at a festival. I’m not sure what “Spanish Chicken” is (maybe Spanish ladies)? I found myself absentmindedly humming this one later in the day.

The Crab Song
A bizarre somewhat punk-rock like track. Some bagpipe and whistle. There is a crazy improvised pipe whistle soloist playing in the very distant background the whole time. Neil Anderson sings.

Set For Regis
Instrumental and traditional Celtic. Nicely done and very pretty. One of my favorites on this CD.

Very similar to several other vocal songs on the CD. A rockin’ beat.

It’s All Good
A Celtic type folk song. One of the better vocal songs on “Something Good for a Change”. I definitely applaud this one.

McVitie’s Chocolate Problem
Instrumental and traditional. A slower Irish set dance that then merges into a lively rocking modern fast Irish one. Very nicely done and one of the songs for which the CD is worth purchasing.

An easy listening folk song with a somewhat simplistic composition, but it does get better half way through.

Rathkeltair – Are They For You?

Is this a Rathkeltair Celtic or Irish CD for your collection? It probably is, if not only because it is quite unique with some decent original song writing. There are a lot of catchy tracks on “Something Good for a Change” that might be conducive to singing out loud. I can see Rathkeltair being a popular Celtic festival band since they have plenty of sing along opportunities. I particularly enjoyed the few songs that were almost “Progressive Celtic” if there was such a classification. Add a few more Celtic parts to some of the songs via the bagpipe, Bohdran or fiddle and this could be a CD in the player at all times. Give “Something Good for a Change” from Rathkeltair a play more than once and you will find you do enjoy this Celtic CD.

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