What is it about Celtic music and reverb? Of all the world’s varieties of folk music, few, aside from religious chant, seem to lend themselves as congenially to profound ambiance and the sonic suggestion of spiritual space. While the Chieftains might play it relatively dry, so many of the most successful Celtic crossover artists – Enya, Clannad, Celtic Woman and more – situate their essentially traditional melodies (why mess with one the greatest melodic reservoirs of them all?) in a high-sheen production environment characterized by spacious, warm, larger-than-life reverb.
The High Kings are, in melody, instrumentation and subject matter, maybe not reverent, but certainly compliant traditionalists. But in production values, they cleave to the path of Enya: utterly enhanced space somewhere between Heaven and within. Their wildly successful 2008 eponymous debut sounds like the Clancys singing inside a magic cloud. It is fantastical and traditional all at once.
The High Kings perform at the Towne Crier Café in Beacon on Friday, September 22 at 8:30 p.m. Tickets cost $25 in advance, $30 at the door. The Towne Crier Café is located at 379 Main Street in Beacon. For more information, visit www.townecrier.com.