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World Music CD Reviews Celtic & Irish

Boiled In Lead

By Tad Hendrickson
Published June 13, 2008

Silver
Omnium

An institution in their Minneapolis-St. Paul hometown, the five members of Boiled In Lead have celebrated the Celtic music tradition (and then some) for 25 years and counting. Their St. Patrick’s soirees are the stuff of legend, yet this band offers a musical vision year round that reaches well beyond the Emerald Isle. On their eighth album, and first in more than a decade, originals like “Berber” and the Algerian rai-influenced “Menfi ” offer new possibilities for musical fusions, while traditionals like “Jolly Tinker,” “Rushes Green” and a collection of tunes called “Come In From The Rain” anchor the Celtic influence. BIL substantially works all the material with inspired grace and fearlessness—the mostly acoustic quintet really goes to the outer reaches on the aforementioned “Menfi,” and both the song and its listeners are better for it. This is a fine release befitting the silver anniversary of a band that richly deserves to be heard nationally and internationally.