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Slainte Mhath knows how to dance

By Michael Barclay - Guelph Mercury

Pronounced "slawncha-va," this young Nova Scotian Celtic group were not only a mainstage Hillside highlight this year for many people, but their Sunday night workshop with the Columbian-Canadian group Palenke Orchestra was one of the best things I've ever seen at Hillside, ever.

Comprised of some offspring of the Barra MacNeils clan, Slainte Mhath are a perfect medium between traditional Celtic music -- with all the instrumental excellence that requires -- and a modern backbeat, rarely delving into gimmickry for its own sake. (Although we could go without the vocoder voice asking, "Why won't you dance in my new pants?").

The album gets more conventional as it goes on, but the first three tracks in particular show that their idea of dance music doesn't stop at the ceilidh.


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