Just the title of 'Do you Want Kilts with that?' tells you this album by the Colorado band Lalla Rookh is meant to be fun – and it is very successful, indeed.
These 13 tracks seamlessly combine contemporary and traditional Celtic and Irish tunes, often in the same medley. “Geese in the Bog” an old fiddle tune, is interpolated with the enigmatically named original, “Get Your Crap off the Stage” so skillfully it’s hard to tell where one tune ends and the other begins. Another original, “Connemara”, both opens and closes this collection aided by uilleann pipes to create a haunting sonorousness that is both comfortably familiar and refreshingly new.
Along with the fiddle tunes and reels are the lyrics. The upbeat melody of “Blood Wedding” belies the dark take of a wedding reception from hell while the music of Tom Lehrer classic “Irish Ballad” is as sinister as its story. The ballads “Newry Highwayman” and “Siuil a Run” resonate as completely authentic and evoke images of long-past minstrels.
The growth of recording skill is evident throughout Lalla Rookh’s second album, particularly “Two Sisters”, a tune that is allowed to develop slowly throughout the song while each musician adds just enough to make the whole band sound like one controlled musical concept. While obviously at ease in the studio, these artists are still able to bring great energy to their performances.
Just to emphasize the “fun” part, a bonus live track of Cuckoo’s Nest” that could best be described as a bawdy “three-pint” pub song has been included at the end; it alone is worth the price of admission!
A sonically superior album, 'Do You Want Kilts with That?' was mastered with the HDCD process for the best audio resolution.