Singer/percussionist Beth Leachman and harpist/singer Margot Krimmel join together on their debut CD, "White Birds". Leachman's clear, lyric voice blends with the resonant quality of Krimmel's Celtic harp in a well-balanced duet. The strong arrangements on this CD feature vocal harmonies, bodhran (Irish drum), harp duets, unaccompanied voice and guest players on fiddle and Swedish nyckelharpa.
Beth Leachman is lead vocalist for Boston based Irish band Siucra and has recorded 3 CDs with the group. She has made guest appearances with the Chieftains and Gerry O'Beirne. Irish Music Magazine wrote, "the control and nuance that Beth Leachman displays in her singing is exceptional."
Margot Krimmel has graced Colorado with stunning harp arrangements and compositions for the past 15 years. She has first place awards from the Longs Peak Scottish Highland Festival and the Pop and Jazz Harp Festival. Of her solo recording, "Songlines", The Folk Harp Journal wrote, "Margot Krimmel has mastered the art of music that touches the heart. It reaches past the surface and strikes a chord deep within."
The title track, "The White Birds", is a poem by W. B. Yeats set to a lilting melody by Leachman (who first recorded it with her band Siucra), soaring over Krimmel's inventive accompaniment on the Celtic harp. Leachman's unaccompanied rendition of "Night Visiting Song" is a captivating performance. The CD includes relatively unknown treasures collected during Leachman's year living in Western Ireland. Leachman sings in Irish Gaelic on "An Chrubach" (" The Troublesome Cow").
Krimmel's fresh approach to Celtic harp standard, "O'Carolan's Dream" is sensitive and creative. "The Bells of Rhymney", a favorite of the 1960s fold revival, is given new treatment that highlights Krimmel's ingenious use of her instrument. The well-known "Raggle Taggle Gypsy" rambunctiously entwines with "The Burning of the Piper's Hut", showcasing Krimmel and Leachman's originality, even when performing music that may be centuries old.
Leachman and Krimmel set a mood to reflection, elegance and brightness on this CD. "White Birds" is one not to be missed by traditional music fans.