Only their third recording in eleven years Tullamore has more than made up for lost time with their latest studio project, Wild and Wicked Youth. Ironically, Mark conceived the "youth-gone-awry" theme of the CD rather shortly after the release of their first CD, Timber and Stream. And while that seed had to endure a half-decade of metamorphosis, it was well worth the wait.
Capped by a 16-day tour of Ireland, season eleven has witnessed Tullamore's transformation from an accomplished regional band to an aspiring national band. To realize those ambitions with this recording, the band enlisted the talents of Celtic music phenom Phil Smillie (of the Tannahill Weavers) to handle the post-production of the project. Together, with engineer Grant Milne, Phil pinpointed the finer characteristics of Tullamore's performance and cultivated them, and in doing so developed an incredible sound.
Lee Worman, host of KSMU's The Gold Ring and the first person to review the cuts, opined "With this impressive new recording Tullamore, quite simply, show themselves to be undeniably world class. Mark Clavey’s arrangements here are nothing short of inspired. Whether with her voice or with her dulcimer, there is great depth, beauty and heart in every note Mary Hanover sings. Everything Rachel Gaither does on this album is spot on... both her singing and virtuoso fiddling are imbued with immense energy and power -- full of heart, full of imagination, full of life. On this CD we hear the difference between some close friends in what has been a fine regional band, and three highly talented music partners in what has become a truly world class band." That response was as pleasantly surprising as it was rewarding to hear, and the band hopes these sentiments are just the beginning in a long list that ends with "critical acclaim".
Starting out with... four themed pieces (the classic early-1800s anti-recruitment song Arthur McBride, Robert Burns' stirring MacPherson's Rant, the Ballad of Jack Dolan - Robbie O'Connell's excellent adaptation of the Wild Colonial Boy, and the Wild and Wicked Youth), the line-up includes traditional ballads (My Johnny Was a Shoemaker, Far Away in Australia, and Bonnie Susie Cleland), a couple traditional Scottish favorites (the Work of the Weavers and Will Ye Go, Lassie?), a couple of tune-sets (our Butcher's Set and Wedding Jigs), and Ron Hynes' contemporary classic Sonny's Dream.