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The Border Of Heaven - Celtic Music on the American Frontier CD Cover
Image © 2000 \r\n\r\nTaylor Park Music  

(21 May 2000) The fourth album from Kansas City-based Connie Dover,The Border Of Heaven - Celtic Music On The American Frontier(Taylor Park Music (USA) TPMD0401, 2000) is an eclectic collectionthat blends traditional Celtic themes with songs of the American west.Dover's earlier albums received international acclaim and include Somebody, The Wishing Well and If Ever I Return.The album was produced in conjunction with Phil Cunningham andis comprised of twelve tracks with instrumental contributions bya bevy of additonal performing artists. Be sure to visit Connie'swebsite for additional information about the album and the artist'scareer.

Connie's soprano voice perfectly suits the folky themes of hernewest album. Songs are sung either in Gaelic or English and mostblend Irish and American instrumental themes. The album opens with "The Blessing" sung in Gaelicand combines traditional melodies with additional instrumentation.The traditional American folk song "Sweet Betsy From Pike" has alovely moving melody and Connie's sensitive lead vocal carries itwonderfully. Adapted form the Alabama folk song, Connie's "I Am Going To The West" is a folk ballad with a catchy melody certainto appeal to a broad audience. The eclectic combination continueswith Connie's interpretation of "The Streets Of Laredo" accompaniedprimarily by accordian. A contrasting vocal by Skip Gordon addsto the American cowboy flavour of the track.

Phil Cunningham's penny whistle introduces the ballad "LordFranklin," perfectly illustrating the crystalline texture ofConnie's voice. The traditional Irish song "An SpailpĂ­n Fanach" (The Wandering Laborer) is sung in Gaelic with tremendousclarity and, a highlight of the album with a lovely instrumentalbridge, is also a tribute to Connie's vocal talent. The track"Last Night by the River," written by Connie Dover is a veryslow, almost droning, hymn; vocals soar over the lightestinstrumental arrangement. An American folk song of Scottishorigin, "The Water Is Wide" and the English folk song "My DearestDear" are highly accessible yet slow paced ballads with stunning lead vocals and light instrumental accompaniment.

Orchestral-sounding instrumental arrangements support Connie'slead vocal in the hymn "Wondrous Love" and make it a highlymemorable track. The pace actually picks up in the folk song"Winters Night" with dancing feet contributing to its percussive texture. The American Civil War folk song "Brother Green" issung almost a capella and serves to illustrate the range anddepth of Connie's vocal talent.

Taylor Park Music has spared no expense in the production ofConnie's latest album. Artwork is lovely and a thick bookletwith complete lyrics and song backgrounds accompanies the compactdisc. You can read further reviews, hear soundbites and order thealbum from amazon.comhere. Connie's earlier albums are also available at amazon.com.This latest album is technically superb and eclectic in its construction.The music is very listenable and most appropriate for relaxation.Worth a journey, it is certainly a very nice listen!

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