FolkWorld #50 03/2013
© David Hintz

Ancient Patterns

Lilt @ Jammin Java, Washington DC - Dec 30, 2012.


Lilt @ FolkWorld: FW#48, #48 |

I first heard this Irish folk duo on their recent album "Onward" which I found to be a vibrant approach to classic Irish folk music. They hit the stage for 90 minutes of mostly instrumental Irish folk (one shared vocal song) which fully absorbs this matinee audience.

Tina Eck plays a lovely wooden flute and a bit of whistle (not so much tin anymore). Keith Carr mostly plays a cittern and adds a little banjo here and there. Their virtuosity is quickly apparent and their notes deftly flow together in those classic ancient patterns.

I really love this music and it is perfect for me today as it is quick, moving, and has that melodic pattern that circles back to the starting point to a harmonious conclusion--nothing like the ancient modal harmonic compositions to balance the soul.

These two know their instruments, know the music, and show off their nice personalities on stage. They invited an Irish dancer (you know, that mostly armless style) to come up on final verses of several songs to bang out a nice little rhythm with his feet while showing off his various moves. It was a nice visual touch, with a surprising rhythmic boost as well.


This music fits perfectly into the revival era of British (and European) folk in the post Sweeney's Men era. Back then, you could stray from traditional or stay roughly within those bounds (as Lilt does) yet provide a modern depth to the sound and the performance.

I hope many more people will check out these two, either as Lilt, or playing with other band variations around town. As someone from the crowd said, 'next time, we'll be bringing our friends!'.

First published @

Photo Credits: (1)-(2) Lilt (unknown).

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