Three and a half decades in, and Altan might be forgiven if they were tempted to hit cruise control. Instead, they’ve taken the high road to Nashville, with newcomer Martin Tourish in tow on piano accordion, and in the process they’ve reinvigorated their sound. Máiréad Ní Mhaonaigh’s presence is akin to a centrifugal force from which Altan’s sound emanates, so their choice of album title, The Widening Gyre (a borrowing from WB Yeats’s The Second Coming) is particularly apt.
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