« Best Black Dress | Main | Seven Nations, Present »

Seven Nations, Past

I should have written this up months ago, when the news was current -- but I was in my writer's block wilderness. So I'll be brief.

Clan Na Gael: 10 Years On: Seven Nations is my favorite Celtic rock band, in all their incarnations. About a couple of years ago, I exchanged brief e-mails with their former piper Neil Anderson -- I think I was asking his permission to distribute flyers for an upcoming Seven Nations concert while his band was scheduled to play in Cary. (Sadly, he got rained out.) I asked because there had been rumors of animosity between the old band members, and of course the typical online sniping between fans of the old lineup and the new. Anderson's reply was gracious. He had no problem with me handing out some fliers at the show and -- if I recall correctly -- expressed that he was pretty tired of the fannish rivalry. He and the others bore no animosity.

Sure enough, this summer the four original band members, Anderson, Kirk McLeod, Struby and Nick Watson, got together again to release a best-of compilation under their original band name, Clan Na Gael. The result is two completely new songs, four new arrangements (includiing one of my favorite old songs, "No Reason") and eight remastered classics. The new arrangements are marked improvements on the originals: "Rain and Thunder" and "For James" have some real weight to them now. Anderson sings lead on the classic The Night they Drove Old Dixie Down, bringing a strong voice (with McLeod's excellent harmonies) to bring back some of the Southern culture that infused 7N's earlier work. It's a solid album, highly recommended.

The foursome will be playing a few gigs in Albany, Keswick PA, and the Newberry Opera House -- site of Seven Nations's onetime homecoming shows -- in October and November. Details are at 7N's website.


TrackBack URL for this entry: