Pics, Reviews, and Booking Info

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"Stark Raven is one of those bands that shows versatility while maintaining a unique, identifiable sound...The fast tunes flow and the slow ones are riveting. The playing is incredibly tight..."  - Tim Hoke/Green Man Review on Committed

"...They have a bright, airy style featuring a lot of flute and whistle, sweet-sounding fiddle, occasional button accordion, and a smooth rhythm base from guitars and assorted other fretted instruments that are steered by light percussion. Lead singer Sue Mogan-Mattison has a wonderfully unaffected, relaxed vocal style that shines on traditional songs like their arrangement of "The Blacksmith," with a slightly jazzy mandolin and flute backdrop, or their lilting, gliding version of "John of Hazelgreen" with a harmonious chorus and exhilarating instrumental breaks. Their tune sets are equally well crafted, full of smart licks and burnished melodies. This one was a pleasant surprise." - Tom Nelligan/Dirty Linen on Committed

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"The tunes have an intricacy and beauty rarely achieved, and it is clear that the band puts all its soul into its music." - Reed and Chanter/US
beckie.jpg (7231 bytes) "The production and quality of sound are top class too and this band could perform anywhere in the world and bring credit to Celtic traditions."  - Tradnet/Ireland

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Ohio based Stark Ravenís second album goes under the title of Committed, a double entendre if ever there was one with the bandís quirky sense of humor on one side and their underlying commitment to Celtic music on the other. All five members are draped in white jackets on the album sleeve and brief trackettes with titles like Reginaldís Escape and Reginaldís Reluctant Return complete with appropriate sound effects are sandwiched in between more obviously straightforward arrangements of traditional songs and tunes. While the concept may appear zany and off the wall, the music and arrangements are watertight and well in touch with matters of a traditional roots nature. My Darliní Pat kicks into action fuelled by Sue Mogan Mattisonís enthusiastic vocals and a sprightly arrangement while John of Hazelgreen and Nancy the Pride of the West show an attachments to song material off the beaten tracks. Musically the emphasis is on creating a natural sounding flow with wind and reed instruments upfront and a style somewhere between The House Band and Patrick Street. This lightness of touch makes Stark Ravenís sound sometimes more airy than many US Celtic outfits with Becky Bogerís flute and David Reddickís guitars adding strong jazz inflections. Multi instrumentalists Craig Markley and Sid Omasta add accordion, fiddle, keyboards, and pipes while Sue Mogan Mattison contributes unobtrusive keyboards, whistle, and guitar occasionally complimenting her assured crystalline vocals. Presenting a full rich five part vocal harmony sound as well as musical dexterity, Stark Raven goes much further than most US Celtic outfits in assimilating their various backgrounds into a recognizable original sound. Committed shows an accomplished and imaginative band hitting new creative heights. - John O'Regan/Folk Roots/UK

"Stark Raven has a way of filling out the traditional style with a new feel most modern players never take beyond the Titanic soundtrack. Itís apparent these players know their genre, and they know just what folk and Celtic music fans are looking for." - Ryan Horns/Columbus Alive on Committed


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