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There's a youthfulness abounding in the Celtic music scene these days. It's fresh, energetic and fused with a sound that has a rich international flavour. It's Slainte Mhath (pronounced Slawncha Va). The innovative Cape Breton quintet is keeping its traditional roots firmly planted, with a determination to making 21st century Celtic music and bringing it to a global audience.

The Slainte Mhath (Gaelic for “good health to you”) sound draws from a wide range of influences. This high-energy group features traditional instruments associated with the Celtic genre and adds drumbeats, hooks, and sub-bass lines, all augmented with contemporary arrangements.

The diverse and cultural background of Slainte Mhath includes the musical versatility of Lisa Gallant (bodhran, fiddle and step-dancing), Boyd MacNeil (octave mandolin, fiddle, guitars and percussion), Ryan MacNeil (keyboards and percussion), Brian Talbot (drums and percussion) and John MacPhee (Highland bagpipes, Scottish reel pipes and Irish flute).

Slainte Mhath's new sounds explode on their new album VA, a title which is meant to represent the phonetic pronunciation of Slainte Mhath's last name. VA takes the fiercely talented young generation of musicians to another realm of creativity -- combining those deep traditional influences with modern-day nuances that will set popular culture on its ear.

Slainte Mhath has a growing fan base worldwide, having toured across Canada, the U.S.A., England, Scotland, Sweden and Denmark. The young group has honed its chops considerably.

Their new album VA and their self-titled album are distributed by Greentrax Recordings in Europe and by Maple Music Recordings in Canada. Last summer, Slainte Mhath's momentum grew overseas with a tour that set a ground breaking collaboration with BBC Radio Scotland, featuring a daily diary on their Web site and leading them to a BBC Folk Award nomination in the 'Horizon' category -- the first East Coast artist to receive a nomination from the BBC Folk Awards.

With VA, Slainte Mhath embarks on a new part of their musical journey. Jump aboard, get ready to go -- it's definitely an enjoyable trip into a new century of Celtic music making.

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