A review from my past life...

In the early 90's, I played with Baal Tinne, a Chicago-based Irish semi-traditional band. I came upon this review yesterday of an album we released in 1994. If I'm not mistaken, the recording came out in cassette and CD. Now, you can download it. We're gonna party like it's 1994!

The Celtic Music Fan, June 1, 2013

Band: Baal Tinne
Album: The Haunting
Musicians in the album:
Noel Rice
Cathleen Rice-Halliburton
Matt Sundstrom
Paul Cienniwa

Year of release: 1994

Style: Contemporary instrumental/New Age/Traditional Irish


1. The Long Note / One Horned Sheep
2. The Dawn / Morning Dew / Speed the Plough
3. Gan Anim
4. The Thatchers Are Here / Old Joe’s Jig / Allistrum’s March
5. Toss the Feathers / Jenny’s Chickens
6. The Haunting
7. Waves / Farewell To Connaught / McFadden’s Handsome Daughter
8. The Providence Reel / The Month of January
9. Limericks Lamentation / Daddy When You Die / The Merry Blacksmith
10. Killarney Boys of Pleasure / The Fyket

From the start of the thundering crystal clear piano of Paul Cienniwa, Baal Tinne aims to do what every musicians want: to transport the listeners into another world where the note is king. The haunting flute of Noel Rice takes us back into the times when New Age music was new and everyone was captivated. The fiddling of Cathleen Rice creates a balance between Traditional Irish and avant-garde instrumental music. And yes, Matt Sundstrom contributes a folk vibe into The Haunting which thanks to Ceolwind Productions, this is my introduction into the quintet’s music.

The group’s name suggests the relationship to Celtic celebration especially the feast of fires which is celebrated during the month of May. The atmosphere of the entire album is that of the changing of the mood brought about by the seasons. The tracks shimmer with authenticity and magic. For a truly stunning listening experience, I suggest the use of headphones. There is something intimate about The Haunting that makes you turn the lights off and light candles.

I miss this sound because it reminds me of groups like Nightnoise and The Secret Garden. Back in the days when Celtic music was not just about technical skills, energy and tradition but also the beauty of the moods and atmosphere that musicians brought to the music. The classical and jazz influences are undeniable which can be found in tracks like The Long Note, The Dawn, Gab Ainm, The Haunting and Waves. Killarney Boys of Pleasure showcases the group’s love for folk and traditional tunes. I love their interpretation of Toss the Feathers because of the arrangement and the clarity of each instrument.

Don’t miss the hymn like Limerick’s Lamentation which I think is one of the most memorable and tunes in The Haunting. Take note of the low pizzicato when the tune starts to catch tempo at 2:30.

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