Celtic Thunder has just released Legacy: Volume 1 on DVD. This gives new and old fans the opportunity to bask in the spectacle and the pure performance bliss provided by these talented and handsome young men backed by the marvelous eight-piece Celtic Thunder Band on whistles, strings, guitars, percussion, pipes, keyboards, and more. (The band is led by music director David Munro, who also plays keyboards.)
Celtic Thunder consists of five feature performers who sing both solo and together, and all of whom are actually Celtic: Colm Keegan, Keith Harkin, Ryan Kelly, Emmett O’Hanlan, and Neil Byrne. For this show, filmed in Ontario in March 2015, they were rejoined by original member Damian McGinty, who left the group to join the cast of the popular TV show Glee! after winning Fox’s The Glee Project. They are remarkable not only as singers but because they have the stage presence to stand out even in front of an elaborate stage setup and a large band.
As for the music, it is an eclectic mix, ranging from the stirring anthems “Caledonia” and “Ireland’s Call,” which will electrify any Irish blood you have and make you think you have some if you don’t, to traditional favorites like “Raggle Taggle Gypsy,” “Black Velvet Band,” and “The Galway Girl.” There are also contemporary numbers like “Falling Slowly” and a song that seems out of place because it is not at all Irish but which is so beautiful and so moving that it transcends all that, “The Dutchman.” All of the songs sound new and fresh here, even “Danny Boy,” which is presented in an arrangement that transforms it while keeping the deep emotional resonance intact.
Then there is the longstanding crowd favorite, “A Place in the Choir,” which gives the group a chance to show off some fancy footwork and have a little fun with it.
Celtic Thunder is embarking on a North American tour in 2016. We can all look forward to that, and in the meantime, we can enjoy Legacy as often as we like on this marvelously produced DVD, with excellent sound and picture quality. Prepare to have your heart warmed and your eyes and ears tickled.