Celtic Thunder (Ireland): Brendan Monaghan (whistling, whistle, pipe, bodhran); Ivan Gilliland (guitar, electric guitar, mandolin); Dave Cooke (keyboards); Nicky Scott (double bass, bass guitar); Liam Bradley (drums); Andrew Lavery (percussion).
Personnel: Andrew Carlisle, Philip Bell, Gavin Noade, Glenn Cupples, Charles Noin, Alan Barr (pipes, drums); Neil Byrne, Nigel Wheatley (background vocals); Dave Gold, Michael Keeney, Phil Coulter.
Recording information: Amberville Studios, County Antrim; Windmill Lane Recording Studio, Dublin, Ireland.
Arrangers: Dave Gold; Michael Keeney; Phil Coulter.
Ireland's pop-vocal quintet Celtic Thunder became a sensation in the U.S. through a much-viewed PBS concert special. Their second album, ACT TWO, broadens their appeal even further. Singing in various combinations of solos and ensembles, the five vocalists tackle both Celtic ("Raggle Taggle Gypsy," "Danny Boy") and non-Celtic ("Knights in White Satin," "I Wanna Know What Love Is") material in an impassioned style that melds their Irish roots with eclectic pop sensibilities, positioning them as something like the Emerald Isle's answer to the Three Tenors.
As the name implies, this CD is in many ways an Act II given that it completes the collection of songs presented in the DVD. But it also includes "extra" songs (Danny Boy, Christmas 1915, Castles in the Air, and extended Heartland). The songs are enjoyable for a wide audience given the vocal ranges and age-appropriate solos which tend to cause listeners to find a favorite within the group. The ensemble pieces are truly remarkable as well. This is a great CD for almost any music fan and your money couldn't be going to a better, kinder, group of lads!
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