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A Celebration of Twenty

Released in May 2006 to celebrate IONA's 20th anniversary, it earned a WAMMIE as "Best Folk-Traditional Recording of 2006" putting it in the company of such artists as Bonnie Rideout, Al Petteway, Grace Griffith, Zan McLeod and Celtic Thunder.
This is a double CD.  The first disk, New Growth, has 11 all-new tracks which for the first time feature the fiddling of Andrew Dodds as he joins Barbara Ryan (vocals, bouzouki, bodhran) Bernard Argent (flute, doumbek) and Chuck Lawhorn (bass guitar).  The second disk, Deep Roots, is a reissue of 15 tracks from the previous 5 albums all digitally re-mastered. Together the two disks offer a glimpse of the band which has evolved over two decades, but always stayed true to the spirit of Pan-Celtic music. Two disks - total 113 minutes.
Buy the CD
picture of the Celebration of 20 CD Downloads
See also the Liner notes and Lyrics

"Seminal celtic groups such as Altan, The Battlefield Band and others have a well-deserved reputation. I believe Iona should be mentioned alongside these distinguished groups as Ryan, Argent, Lawhorn and Dodds are on a par with the best."
- Kevin McCarthy, 6/06
Kevin McCarthy's Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews   Read the entire review

"...this is a rich and gorgeous – the only word – array of vocal and instrumental music...
[It] pushes further to explore the Appalachian reaches of Celtic music, with an appropriately jazzy syncopation to some of the tunes, which may even remind some listeners of the Red Clay Ramblers’... Andrew Dodd’s’ Scottish-style fiddling may remind you of Aly Bain."

- John McLaughlin - TheDigitalFolkLife.org

"...You’ll want to listen to “IONA” by yourself, in a group, during a dinner party or simply cleaning the house. Yes, “IONA” is that diverse.
- Don Dyer - CelticMP3s.com Read the entire review

"...Their music flows and bends like the summer evening and makes for wonderful companion music ...  a celebration of 20 years of some of the best Celtic music that you will ever hear!"
- Paul MacArthur, Highlander Radio http://www.CelticRadio.net   Read the entire review

"...Iona's music is actually delightfully complex and multi-layered. At the same time, it has the pared-down elegant lines of Shaker furniture ... There isn't a weak recording on either CD... Iona's music reminds you why it's called "roots music." It's still alive and growing."
- Kestrell Rath, The Green Man Review   Read the entire review

"...they are, in no uncertain terms, the best traditional Celtic band working today. ... Just listen to [it] and try to tell me this isn't the flat-out-business when it comes to this kind of music... a spectacular release & mandatory purchase."
- Ray Dorsey, Chaos Realm (scroll down for the review).

"...The current lineup...may be its strongest, but it doesn't really matter where you enter the music... IONA sticks to music that makes it and its listeners leap to a rhythm."
- Pamela Winters, The Washington Post 7/21/06   Read the entire review
"Iona lives up to its much-celebrated name on its 20th anniversary with a two-disc set..."
- Dan Murphy - www.GlobalRhythm.net

Celtic Radio logo
Paul MacArthur
Highlander Radio

*CelticRadio.net Comments:*

IONA's 20th celebration CD is a double album that contains a compilation CD of some of their best tracks (deep roots) and a CD of new material (new growth). Like all of IONA's music, alot of hard work, research and polishing goes into each and every album. If you are new to IONA then "A Celebration of Twenty" is the perfect first IONA album to purchase. If you are a big fan of IONA then you will love the new music and the unfolding 6 pane CD booklet cover with photographs of the band throughout the years (it's about a foot and a half when unfolded - very cool!).

We have seen IONA perform a number of times at the Glasgow Lands festival; in fact, that is were we were first introduced to their unique pan-Celtic sound. Typically you would not expect a performing group to sound as good in concert as when you listen on their CD. However, these musicians are so meticulous and experienced in their instruments and vocals that their live concerts are just like listening to their CD!

We love IONA in part because it is obvious that IONA loves what they do. Their music flows and bends like the summer evening and makes for wonderful companion music during a summer cookout. Our recommendation for this summer is grilled salmon, fresh vegetables, tiki torches and the sounds of IONA playing on your backyard stereo to complement a toast of wine and a celebration of 20 years of some of the best Celtic music that you will ever hear!

For more information on IONA, be sure to check out our feature
http://www.celticradio.net/php/featured_artist.php?artist=13 on IONA

in our featured artist section.

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Page updated July 21, 2012 - Bernard Argent