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The Sky Family Is A Band For All Seasons
In New York City they paint the traffic lines that divide the streets a bright green while in Chicago they dye the waterways. In both mega-metropolitan areas the local bars do the same with the beer they tap and serve their patrons on St. Patrick’s Day. The day when everyone is Irish - or at least so they say. A day when Irish music is heard all around the many, many towns that make up the U.S.A.
Celtic Revival! by the Sky Family is a great listen on St. Patrick’s Day. It’s as hummable as it is danceable, but it’s also so much more. The songs range from fast moving fiddle tunes to works of hope and praise. The Sky Family uses their music not only as an artistic expression, but also as an expression of the religious faith which inspires them.
Opening with Let Everything That Has Breath the Sky Family (yes, 5 of the 6 members of the band are really related by blood) celebrates the spreading of the word of The Lord with their beautifully balanced four-part harmonies. In the verses it details the various ways praise may be offered. The chorus resounds with the repeated words of “We will lift him up”, sung in ascending modulation that cumulates in the humble message of “Let everything that has breath praise The Lord.”
Blossom works on several levels. On one level it’s about the long awaited arrival of spring that accompanied by the beautiful blossoms returning to the plants in our world around us. On another level is the metaphor for the rebirth that has been promised in the next life. Either way, it’s a cute little pop song which ever way you interpret it. I especially enjoyed the pennywhistle solo.
If you’re in the mood to dance a jig or to put your step dancing shoes on then Facing the Gale should do the trick for you. Much of the same can be said about Eye of the Storm as it pits pound percussion instruments in counterpoint to those wonderfully cascading arpeggiated keyboard sequences. Who Is like Him also employs the symbol of the ever changing season. Hints of renaissance music element emanate throughout this sweetly sung ballad.
In all, Celtic Revival! boasts seventeen tracks that run the gambit of genres and styles like a thoroughbred racehorse. It also thoughtfully juxtaposes secular with religious musical content that I’ve rarely heard from these kinds of records. This is why I proclaim that the Sky Family (www.theskys.org), is indeed, the band for all seasons.