There’s something timeless about the blending of the human voice with the ring of acoustic instruments. It’s timeless enough to reach around the globe from Ireland and England to the foot of the Rocky Mountains to inspire the musicians of Colorado acoustic-based band Lalla Rookh. Lalla Rook starts with traditional material from across the ocean- ballads, jigs and stories of romantic adventures- then adds a fresh and vital energy to music that invites passion and celebration. Their debut CD release, “Book one: Tales and Tradition” introduces Lalla Rook’s “Anglo-Celtic” music with rich vocal harmonies, crisp instrumental arrangements and a lot of heart.
Opening with Ashley Hutchings’ “A-Calling-On Song,” “Book One: Tales and Tradition” quickly establishes the high spirits of a quintet that has become a popular concert draw in their hometown of Fort Collins, Colorado and in the Rocky Mountain region. From the lively, full band sound of the opening track through the full-blooded, a cappella vocals of “My Johnny Was a Shoemaker,” Lalla Rookh demonstrates a warm love and understanding of a centuries-old folk music style. But by the time the group gets to “Matty Groves,” there’s no denying that Lalla Rookh is not afraid to stretch tradition to include some contemporary playing. Also including an original tune by mandolin player Paul Honeycutt, “The Wolfshead.” Lalla Rookh’s first effort puts a new and dramatic slant on music that comes from long ago and far away.
Lalla Rookh includes guitarist Charley Gannon, violinist Kay Williams, percussionist and bodhran player Mary Whalen, bassist Jim Abraham and Paul Honeycutt on mandolin and guitars. The group has established a reputation as an exciting live act at such events as the Scottish/Irish Highland Festival and the Denver Celtic Festival. With the release of “Book One: Tales and Tradition,” Lalla Rookh has also become a successful recording unit. “Book One: Tales and Tradition” is currently available at CD outlets around the world.