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Review: The New Zeitgeist's music connects Dublin and Austin

Associated Press logo Associated Press 7/6/2017 By STEVEN WINE, Associated Press

The New Zeitgeist, "Myths and Mortals" (The New Zeitgeist)

Many of the lyrics on "Myths and Mortals" date back more than a century, which is why the New Zeitgeist is singing of fairies, fables and linnet's wings. This is real roots music that connects Dublin and Austin.

The Chicago-based duo Jen Reilly and Eddy Bluma pair original material with poems by W.B. Yeats, Carl Sandburg, William Allingham and Sidney Lanier, and they make the words sing. It helps that Reilly could win a Kathy Mattea impersonation contest — her sturdy alto matches the material, whether the setting is dappled grass or a dusty trail. Bluma's guitar and a supporting cast that includes Lloyd Maines on Dobro and pedal steel deftly straddle musical genres.

There's a crunchy hint of the blues on "Looking Glass Man," while "Peter Pan's Remorse" conjures druids. "Desert Rose" gives a country waltz an Irish lilt, and "Kingdom Highway" is Gaelic gospel. It all makes for an enchanting mix like nothing else being heard in roadhouses or pubs.

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