Artist: Three Mile Stone
Album: Three Mile Stone
The self-titled debut album by Three Mile Stone, a trio of string musicians, opens with a nice instrumental song showing off their musical skills. Just when you think this is an all-instrumental album however, the second track tells a different story. A subdued – a term you might use for all the tracks – rendition of ‘Heather on the Moor’ follows, and it in turn is followed by an instrumental song again.
The instrumental tracks work great on their own, and on the other tracks, the vocals work well with the string instruments, except on the beautiful ‘Dark is the Color’, which is a cappella. By the way, only string instruments are used on all the songs, so that might explain why I perceived the music as ‘subdued’ – there’s no percussion.
Of course, sometimes subdued is fine, and with their skill with string instruments, Three Mile Stone shows that you don’t always need drums to make great Celtic music. They switch between slower songs that pull your heart strings and faster songs that will have you tapping along easily, without compromising the quality of the songs by omitting percussion instruments. You could even say that by omitting those, they actually add a new dimension to the music you thought you knew inside out.
Jan Jacob Mekes has a passion for history, writing, and writing history (and music, of course). He runs an online cultural magazine, Cultural Zest. You can read more examples of his writings on his portfolio. Jan also writes reviews for Marc Gunn’s Celtic MP3s Music Magazine.