Emerald Rose Live 2-17-2001
2-17-2001 At the Fiddler's Green coffeehouse in Buckhead, Georgia
By Ronnie

Saturday night brought me not to a rock and roll club, but to a coffeehouse in Buckhead. The reason? Two of my fave Celtic bands were playing, Emerald Rose and the BorderCollies. Here are pictures of both bands that night and a review of the Emerald Rose set. Unfortunately, I had to leave early, so I wasn't able to catch all of the BorderCollies set. But, look for my review of their new live CD in our review section this month.

Both bands approach Celtic music very differently. The BorderCollies play flawless traditional Celtic music with amazing dexterity. They play what comes to mind when most people think of Celtic music. Top notch musicians which are both a wonder to watch and a pleasure to hear.

On the other end of the Celtic spectrum, you have Emerald Rose. They play an amalgamation of Celtic music, which is both quite unique and refreshing. The title of their recent CD, BENDING TRADITION pretty much sums up the philosophy and the approach of Emerald Rose. Theirs is a fusion of Celtic, pagan, pop, traditional, experimental all rolled into one.

Although they played a truncated version of their regular set, Emerald Rose quickly won over the crowd in the 9 songs that they played. Tonight the band stuck to what I call their "conservative" set, not straying into their pagan-themed songs. This is not a bad thing, as it showed that they can hold their own in whatever 'area' of Celtic music that they wish to concentrate on.

The highlight of the evening was their version of "Loch Lomond". If you don't recognize the title, you will recognize the words: "you take the high road and I'll take the low road". Emerald Rose played an amazingly modern version of this famous tune, which showcased their unique vocal arrangement skills. Arthur Hinds mentioned that it is a pretty new tune of theirs. It makes you wonder about the next CD and the surprises lurking therein. If this is a sign of what is to come, I can't wait.

The band ended with "Donald McGillavry", which nearly brought the house down, literally. With just about the entire crowd clapping and stomping their feet, the band was nearly drowned out by the pounding rhythm's from the wooden structure!

You want a sign of how good these guys are? We had two couples with us tonight, both new to Celtic music. One of our friends even pronounced it, "sell-tic" music. By the end of the show they were all blown away, buying CD's and wanting to know when they are playing again. I would call that the true sign of success.

Emerald Rose Set List:

Green Hills of Garland jigs
Fire in the Head
Come by the Hills
Castle of Arianrhod
Red Haired Mary
Hills of America
Loch Lomond
The Worlds Wedding
Donald Mcgillavry

Click here to visit the Emerald Rose web site