Album Review: Altan - The Widening Gyre

Album Review: Altan - The Widening Gyre

The Widening Gyre

★★★★ (out of 5)

THIS latest release from Donegal trad stars Altan was recorded in Nashville with several guests from the Americana music world.

The result is a really nicely balanced album featuring 14 tracks where Co. Donegal meets the parts of 13 states that make up Appalachia — musically speaking. 

Altan have been together for almost 35 years and the time was right to explore beyond the pure Irish traditional boundaries. They have managed to do this quite skillfully — due in no small part to the production skills of Gary West — while retaining the core sound that is their trademark.  

The fusion of Irish and Appalachian with talented guests such as Americans Jerry Douglas, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Tim O’Brien, Bruce Molsky and Glasgow’s Eddi Reader among others combine to produce an album of pure quality. 

The Widening Gyre (the title is taken from W.B. Yeats poem The Second Coming) shows the connection between Celtic and bluegrass music with both genres benefitting from the natural alliance. 

A great album from a great band who will be touring Britain in May.