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The Sweet Colleens | 10 Mona Lisas

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Folk: Celtic Pop Country: Americana Moods: Type: Vocal
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10 Mona Lisas

by The Sweet Colleens

This Minneapolis Quintet’s trademark high-energy mixture of Celtic, Cajun, and American folk roots music is on full display in the band’s fifth full-length recording, which features beautiful original songs and sparkling arrangements of traditional tunes.
Genre: Folk: Celtic Pop
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Christopher
3:22 $0.99
2. Heave Away
3:46 $0.99
3. Pyromania
4:40 $0.99
4. Walks in the Room
3:15 $0.99
5. Boy Brady
4:41 $0.99
6. Black-Eyed Suzie
1:48 $0.99
7. Little Bit of This
3:21 $0.99
8. Never Tire of the Road
4:54 $0.99
9. You Are the One
3:15 $0.99
10. O Scotland
3:46 $0.99
11. Smile in There
3:28 $0.99
12. Botany Bay
4:58 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
About The Sweet Colleens

With infectious original songs, warm vocal harmonies, and fiery fiddle and accordion instrumentals, the Sweet Colleens have won a loyal local following and fans across the Midwest and beyond.

The band was founded by ex–pat Canadian songwriter and fiddler Jeremy Greenhouse and Minneapolis keyboardist/accordionist Pete Sandvik for a Y2K New Year’s show at Kieran’s Pub in Minneapolis. From there, the Colleens soon established themselves as mainstays in the Twin Cities’ Celtic and original music scenes.

They have played at Celtic, folk and rock festivals from St. Paul to Texas to France, and have recorded with an array of notable musicians including Grammy award–winning Cajun fiddler Michael Doucet, River Dance lead soprano Katie MacMahon, and the Minneapolis Youth Chorus. Primarily known as the leading Celtic-Americana band in the Twin Cities, the quintet has played at just about every Irish pub in the state, and is one of the few local bands to regularly play the main stage at the Irish Fair of Minnesota. Building on its expanding repertoire of original songs, the group has also enjoyed success beyond the Celtic music community, with air play on local stations including The Current and Cities 97, gigs at more pop venues such as First Avenue, the Fine Line, and The Basilica Block Party, and numerous appearances at the Minnesota State Fair.

Among the band’s musical collaborations was a 2010 CD of original kids songs, The Monkey Dance, which featured the Minneapolis Youth Chorus. The record received rave reviews, was cited by critics as one of the best Kids CDs of the year, received significant airplay on kids music radio channels, and enjoyed robust sales, including being picked up by dozens of public libraries across the country.


**Tunes on “10 Mona Lisas,” with Comments by the Sweet Colleens

 Christopher: “This tune is a folk-pop tribute to Christopher Reeves, a personal hero, featuring a great slide guitar solo.”

 Heave Away: “A traditional maritime song featuring 4-part harmonies, crunchy electric, and a fiddle/whistle/accordion tune interlude.”

 Pyromania: “We call this tune our ‘Devil Went Down to Georgia” as it features blistering-fast fiddle solos! It is based on a true story from Jeremy’s rural Canadian hometown of a teenager with textbook pyromania.”

 Walks in the Room: “Wistful and simple circle-of-life love song, sparsely accompanied by guitar, dobro, and cello.”

 Boy Brady: “All of our records have featured one or more instrumentals. This number is a medley of several of our favorite Irish and Canadian fiddle tunes, played by fiddle, accordion, banjo, and steel drum.”

 Black-Eyed Suzie: “Our lightning-fast version of a great old bluegrass song.”

 Little Bit of This: “This is a bluesy original, featuring piano, dobro, blues harp, and a parade of not-so-subtle metaphors.”

 Never Tire of the Road: “Our drummer Wolf Loescher, who sings lead on this tune, suggested we cover this song, Andy Irvine’s beautiful tribute to Woody Guthrie. We added an excerpt from Guthrie’s ‘This land Is Your Land.’ Not only does a song by Woody fit well within a song inspired by Woody, but the familiar refrain is a timely reminder that this beautiful land of ours is worth preserving, celebrating, and sharing. ‘You fascists bound to lose,’ indeed!”

 You Are the One: “We recorded a rough version of this tune on our first ‘demo’ CD in the early 2000s, part of a single-night, 10-song, wine-soaked studio session put together by Tim Fitzgerald (“Fitz,” RIP) from the “old” Kieran’s in Minneapolis. It has been one of our favorite tunes to play ever since, and we’ve always wanted to record it properly…or at least soberly.”

 O Scotland: “A melancholy/macabre love-song/Celtic waltz juxtaposed against a Cajun fiddle tune bridge.”

 Smile in There: “This swinging original love song would fit better on A Prairie Home Companion than in an Irish pub! The lyrics include the line ‘10 Mona Lisas,’ which became the record’s title.”

 Botany Bay: “One of our favorite traditional Irish/English songs, featuring a duet with Katie MacMahon, lead soprano for the original River Dance production. We know Katie, who now lives in Minneapolis, from sharing stages and friends in the Twin Cities’ Irish music community. This song also has as an interlude a three-part canonic arrangement for cello, accordion, and fiddle of the Celtic tune ‘Josephine’s Waltz’ (one of our personal favorite moments on the record).”

"Our Best Record Yet." Successfully Blending the Group's Various Influences

"Blending traditional Celtic and roots music with our original Americana-style songs has long been one of the band’s signature strengths,” says Jeremy Greenhouse, the Colleens’ songwriter and fiddler, “but it has presented some challenges, especially early on. Some nights we’d sound like the Pogues for a few tunes—all fiddle/accordion/banjo Celtic rock—and then we’d pull out guitars, keys and harmonica and sound more like the Jayhawks."

"But over the years, this blending of styles became more and more seamless, and eventually developed into a unique ‘Sweet Colleens” sound,” continues Greenhouse. “And to me, ’10 Mona Lisas,’ more than any of our previous records, really captures the band’s essence. I think it’s easily our best record yet.”

Greenhouse notes that even though the CD was recorded in a studio—primarily at Hideaway Studio in Northeast Minneapolis-- it has a “live” feel: “We purposely recorded as many parts simultaneously as we could, often in the same room. This allowed us to capture the interplay of the musicians in real time as well as the blending of the instruments in the room. The result is a lot of depth and wonderful sparkle to the recording—it really sounds great.”




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