American hipster-harpist Deborah Henson-Conant was a featured player on 1998's Celtic Harpestry, and is best known for her jazz and 12-bar blues playing. On The Celtic Album Henson-Conant spreads her wings, stretching her talent to the traditional Celtic music she's always loved. 'The Drunken Sailor' boasts a smooth jazz flavor, jamming with multiple harps, and with rhythm & bluesy solos. But Henson-Conant has a flair for the traditional too; her light touch blends beautifully with the flute of Peter Barnes on 'Slieve Russell.' Her electric harp, used exclusively on this album, has a warm jazz guitar feel on 'She Moved Through the Fair' as well as on 'Gussie's Great Escape.' But this nontraditional style is what makes Henson-Conant special: leave the preservation of pure Celtic music to Sileas, Deborah Henson-Conant is leading us into modern ancient territory. --Karen Karleski.
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