For over a decade, life has woven the members of Lalla Rookh into “a marriage of five.” Alternately described as “fresh and lively music that transcends all the years and miles” and “the band that eats,” they’ve grown together and become stronger - individually and collectively - as a result. Never shying away from making fun of each other on stage, the band’s true magic is their stage presence and ability to get you dancing while laughing and enjoying the show. The group often jokes that they should sell tickets to their practices as sometimes the jokes get a little out of control.
The creation of this, their third album, has consumed the time - and patience - of the band for nearly two years. Unafraid to explore and expand beyond the typical Celtic repertoire, Lalla Rookh has tapped into roots as deep as old Ireland and as current as the Grateful Dead. Successfully weaving traditional songs with popular tunes has been a challenge as well as the most fun for the group. As well, mixing the modern sound of electric bass with acoustic violin and guitar adds to their unique sound and style. Add in the various influences of each musician from classical to funk and blues, and Celtic music may never be the same! Guitarist Charlie Gannon sets the acoustic sound of the band while Kay Williams and Paul Honeycutt carry the melodies and counter melodies for most of the tunes on violin and mandolin. Mary Whalen adds percussion with the traditional bodhran and sings most of the lead vocals while Jim Abraham drives each tune with the electric bass. All the members lend their voices at some point during this album.
Lalla Rookh continues to push the boundaries of the Celtic music ‘label’. This is a seriously great album from a seasoned band that continues to find new horizons. Regardless of origin, the stories, legends and melodies seep into the players and listeners alike. As this album demonstrates, Lalla Rookh is happily destined to withstand the test of time.