Ceili Rain Review - ChristianMusic.com
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The Ceili Rain I MADE LEMONADE Christian Music Review
MISSION STATEMENT /GOAL: To encourage listeners to Trust On-Love On-Joy On!
inspire the listener to persevere through life's troubles, depending
and trusting on the Lord, and stepping out in faith and love.
To encourage the listener to develop a grateful heart toward the Lord for all He does for us.
The songs presented were to be simple without being “dopey”.
This album, I MADE LEMONADE would be a bigger sounding record, with song compositions that listeners could turn up loud.
MEMBERS OF CEILI RAIN
Raymons Arias - Electric guitar.
Bil l Bleistine - Drums and percussion
Burt Mitchell - Tin whistles, villeann pipes, Highland pipes, harmonica.
Joe Davoli - Fiddle and mandolin
Bob Halligan jr., - Lead and back-up vocals, acoustic and electric guitar, bass, keyboards, harmonica
Matt Mason - Bass on "Me-est Me I Can Be"
Kevin de Souza - Bass on "I SEE A HALO"
Max McKee - Bass on "KING OF EVERYTHING"
Produced by: BOB HALLIGAN JR. and CEILI RAIN
Mixed and mastered by: Roman Klun
Dedication: "I MADE LEMONADE" album was inspired by "the debates, the troubles, and the love from the Lord that surrounds BHjr and Ceili Rain."
Music Review: I Made Lemonade
what an album; full of encouragement, hope, mixed with a touch of
humor, sure to put a smile on the face and provide inspiration for
developing a grateful, thankful heart! For Bob Halligan
Jr. and crew have surely created a collection of songs that are the
perfect remedy for life's potholes, bumps in the road, painful, scary
storms and high adventures that all of us face and go through, sooner or
later in our life-time in this world. For the love, mercy, faithfulness
and greatness of our Lord as being the ultimate solution is the
underlying theme that runs throughout the songs, especially when we
"Trust on, love on and joy on!"
TRUST ON - (THE KING OF EVERYTHING * I MADE LEMONADE * SO BEYOND IT * I'LL FIND YOU)
LOVE ON - (HUG OF WAR * GOD IN THERE * RIGHT ON THE MONEY * I SEE A HALO * LETS DO THIS THING)
JOY ON - (ME-EST ME I CAN BE * * GOOD OL' GOD * JOY ON)
All of the above goals have more than been met in this Halligan and Ceili
Rain produced, rip-roaring with the spirit, musical presentation of
twelve songs, much to the benefit of the listener. It all begins with
the musical compositions, and the energy and powerful spiritual essence
present throughout the album. Not only is the listener treated to Ceili
Rain's infectious, high-energy, musically creative joy monster sound
that they are known for, that intuitively blends pop-rock music, with
touches/undertone of Celtic /Irish instrumentation, but the quality of
the music is even better on this album, I MADE LEMONADE, for a variety
Additional musical elements found in blues &
Gospel; (THE KING OF EVERYTHING), harder rock and funk; (RIGHT ON THE
MONEY), and jazz(ME-EST ME I CAN BE) are enthusiastically added to the
compositions of various songs to further liven up the joyous musical
mix. Needless to say, spiritual energy flows through the album, adding
an underlying, irresistible force to the album's variety of
heart-catching, spirit lifting melodies, exciting rhythms and Bob Halligan's dynamic vocals that express the lyrical messages so well.
The musicians involved are truly gifted and full of the spirit, bringing the music roaringly
to life. They play like a tight unit together, paying heed to dynamics,
having no trouble playing any kind of music presented. Especially give
kudos to the drummer, a talented fellow indeed!
compositions that you will want to crank up in volume, and perhaps will
be inspired to dance around the room as well, the listener is not only
entertained musically, but also encouraged and uplifted by the messages
of the songs presented. The lyrical messages explore various issues such
as personal courage, trusting in the Lord and stepping out in faith and
love, and recognizing in gratitude and praise what the Lord does for us
out of his love, faithfulness and mercy.
The results are the
creation of wonderful musical platforms for the deeper spiritual
messages, to a degree that surpasses any of their other albums. From
lively anthems (GOOD OL' GOD) to poignant
ballads (HUG OF WAR), the compositions are well-paired with meaningful,
heart-felt lyrics, wrapped in a touch of humor, and poignancy. For the
inspiration for the music and lyrical messages come from the
realization of the faithfulness, mercy and love of The Lord, through
personal relationships that have grown with the Lord, because of the
challenges in teaching children, life's bumps in the road, disappointments, losses and frustrations that the members of Ceili Rain and Bob Halligan Jr. have experienced; issues we all can relate to in our lives.
album explores such themes as: Trusting the Lord to see us through
(KING OF EVERYTHING * I MADE LEMONADE); Turning to God with our
disappointments and heart-wrenching losses (SO BEYOND IT * I'LL FIND
YOU); Showing his love (I SEE A HALO * GOD IN THERE * LET'S DO THIS
THING); Enjoying the blessings we do have (ME-EST ME I CAN BE); and
remembering to be grateful to the Lord (JOY ON * GOOD OL' GOD * RIGHT ON THE MONEY).
As Bob Halligan
Jr uses a variety of musical genres in these songs, He has the ability
to sing in the appropriate vocal style, as well as composing parts for
back-up harmonies and on several songs, a chorus reflecting the blues
and Gospel sound. Besides being a talented story teller, Bob Halligan Jr.
has long had a great talent in expressing heart-felt expressions in his
vocals without getting "sappy";(SO BEYOND IT * LET'S DO THIS THING),as
well as the ability to add a humorous flair to the presentation of some
lyrical messages; (RIGHT ON THE MONEY). The effect of adding an
emotional layer to his ballads/anthems, further makes many of the songs
most enjoyable and relevant to the listener. His Humor, and wit are
showcased in his vocals and lyrics as well, making the listener chuckle,
yet making the point of the song very clear and relevant.
ON THE MONEY - Begins with a rock guitar slide into rhythmic rock guitar
style chords that establish the rhythm and spirit of this song with a
vigor that stimulates the senses. In a rock style, vocals carry the
melody. Music builds in the bridge, resulting in a fabulous sound in the
chorus. Vocals are humorous, yet get the point across, about the clash
between political correctness and having God in our lives be made
public. Also, song has some fun about the materialistic standards in
our society. Interlude features a smokin' guitar solo with funky overtones.
wanna rewrite the books/ Cause you think nobody looks/ Well I'm
watching. and I'm not as dumb as I looks - Right on the money"...
"You're right on the money-every day/ Right on the money-in every way/
YOU'RE in my pocket/ in my spirit/ in my soul/ I'm gonna love ya 'til
I'm gray & tired & old/ Cause You're right on the money"//
verse: 3. "We spend it all/ we spend it tall/ Cause life is
rough/without all that stuff/We've got two jobs - got three jobs/With
all we make/still ain't enough/Before we spend/ One quick Amen /Cause...
The songs on this album, fit well with any
age group, and make great family music. The main theme of each song is
clearly stated in each song's chorus, that are easy to remember and sing
along with in the spirit of the song.
JOY ON, GOD IN THERE, and
LET'S DO THIS THING are ballads about teachable moments with children
and teens, and what a parent learned in return.
JOY ON, is a ballad that's full of joy-monster energy rock and a spirit of jubilation, tells the tale of a teen or pre-teen
named Johnny, who is suffering through the angst of puberty, and is
influenced by a spiritual song he hears on the radio. A great harmonica
interlude brings sparkle to the song.Turning
to the Lord when challenges and losses appear in real life has brought
forth spiritual meat that in turn comes out in the lyrics and the vocal
presentations so delightfully. What was learned from personal
experiences has been lovingly tied into the theme of each song, making
all the songs impressive testimonies to the love and faithfulness of the
Lord who cares for us and will see us through anything. (Psalm
32:10b-The Lord's unfailing love surrounds a man who trusts in Him.)
Chorus: "Trust on - Love on - Joy on."
IN THERE - A ballad with a rock-propelled melody, animated by an
interesting rhythm, with a Gospel-style chorus. Sound builds in the
bridge, exploding into the joy monster machine' music mode in the
chorus. It is a ballad that explores 3 situations, and how a Christian
should show by example in demeanor and action, in order to do our share
showing the world Jesus:
On a job interview, in helping a
stinky homeless man, and in a world meeting with Russia and France.
This theme relates to our other meetings of importance with people who
don't know God.LET'S DO THIS THING - Another, lively Ceili
Rain melody with a nice blend of Celtic instrumentation, keys and
guitars, held together with another interesting rhythm, and joyous
enthusiasm by all involved.
Chorus:"If He looks you in the eye-better hope he
sees God in there (Love, Love), Better hope he sees God in there (Love,
Love), Well I hope he sees God in there (Love, Love)/ Cause if he sees
God in there- you'll get to do your share."
A meaningful ballad with a
wonderful theme statement, cleverly put together in the chorus. Each of
the three verses tells a story about a father and child named Li, and
how they encourage each other. First verse has the father and child up
on the high dive board over a pool, 2nd
verse has a father encouraging a young driver who has suddenly lost his
courage while practicing driving a car, and the third verse tells the
tale of the young person driving his father to the father's doctor
appointment, and encouraging his /her dad to have the treatment.
"Let's do this thing / Let's do this thing / We'll take our chances /
and dance our dances/ Let freedom ring / Let's do this thing".//
My favorite songs on this album have got to be KING OF EVERYTHING * GOOD OL' GOD * I MADE LEMONADE * LET'S DO THIS THING * I'll FIND YOU * SO BEYOND IT * I SEE A HALO)
OF EVERYTHING - A moving ballad that has a strong, well-written
composition, with a 3/4 meter, blues/Gospel mix, complete with some
interesting guitar interludes. Dynamics in music and vocals are
terrific, vocals very expressive, with powerful lyrics. Gospel flavor is
especially felt in the choral back-up in the chorus. Ends with a gospel
MADE LEMONADE - Title song: Begins this album with a joyous burst of
jubilation, portrayed musically and verbally, proclaiming a victory
over the lemons in life, with the Lord's intervention. It has a great,
irresistible melody, rhythm, lively composition, semi-humorous lyrics
and terrific vocals by Bob Halligan Jr, who does both the lead vocals and the harmony vocals, that add so much to the presentation of the message.
1:"The rage and the rhapsody/the rock and the roll/The wave of tragedy/ that swamps my poor soul/ But the smile that's climbin' back up from my toes/ You have made/ all these things"//
2. "Friends are dyin'/ same age as me/ Cyclones draggin' little kids out to sea/ But I think I'm cryin'/(be)cause I believe/ You cry too/At all these things / But You bring us through!!!!!!!
CHORUS: You're the King/The King/ The King/ Of everything/ You're the King/the King/The King/ Of everything//
three most poignant ballads;( I'll FIND YOU * SO BEYOND IT * I SEE A
HALO), also are the most prettiest compositions, that use mostly Celtic
instruments, supported by keys and acoustic/electric guitar. The
combination of instrumentation in the compositions, lyrics and Bob Halligan's wonderful vocals tug on the heart, as the songs expose our need for the Lord, seeking him out.
1. "Shoulda-coulda-woulda made big money/ Tasted the honey, but i got sour/ Bitter situations / great frustrations/ but somehow in the 11th hour"...
"I made lemonade from the lemons You sent me/ Lemons You sent me day
after day/ I made lemonade tho the lemons were plenty/ They never could
tempt me to fade in the shade / I made lemonade"//
Bridge: Sour puss, sour face, whining was my biggest waste of time/ Lemons here/ Lemons there. Lemonade is everywhere / It's mi-ee-i-ee-ine!
2. Speaking to God - "Ya shoulda-coulda-woulda
left my flailing/ Barely sailing/ heart to sink/ But You came to the
rescue/ And what's best/ You were so slick that now I think"// Chorus
SO BEYOND IT - You really need Kleenex
on this song, if you are sensitive. It is a prayer of petition of a man
who has hit rock bottom in a stormy sea of pain and neediness.
Wonderful choral back-up of dynamic main vocals, which express so
vividly the state of mind of a person really in search of help from God.
Refrain: "You are so beyond it/ so beyond it/ So beyond it Lord."// repeat.
verse:"I'm stuck in my pain-I'm stuck in the rain/ I'm stuck in this
ocean of foolish pride/ I'm bound by this earth/My fears of what I'm
worth/ I'm bound by the ceiling upon my sky//
FIND YOU - Love the Celtic instrumentation throughout this dynamic
composition, with a memorable melody and poignant lyrics once again so
beautifully expressed by Bob Halligan Jr., and the rest of the band
singing in the bridge. Great ballad that speaks to a lot of folks with
the same issues described in this message.
searched the house for the glasses I'm wearing/ Turned the key twice to
lock the same door/ Checked the top shelf for the things I've spread on
the floor// Searched the desk for the notes in my pocket/ Read what I
wrote but don't remember what for/ So much ocean, my poor boat can't
find the shore"//
Chorus: "But I kno-o-ow where, yes I kno-o-ow where, Yeah, I kno-o-ow where I'll find You."
"Gonna find You in the gutter( find you in the gutter) find You in the
church (find you in the church)/ Find You in the best of us (find You in
the best of us)/ And find You in the worst;(Find you in the worst)/
Find you in the cradle(find you in the cradle)/find You in the hearse
(find you in the hearse) /Find You in the mirror/ Let me find You in the
I SEE A HALO - A traditional, energetic Ceili
Rain offering of Irish instruments intermingled with guitars, creating a
happy upbeat tune of thanksgiving. Inspiring electric guitar interlude
Gives thanks to someone special who showed love to
this person in all kinds of situations, acting like an angel, becoming
the hands of the Lord.
GOOD OL' GOD
- Album ends with this rocking, joy-monster broad anthem of faith and
gratitude, with an infectious melody, beat, lyrics and vocals, that
covers many blessings that the Lord offers is sure to get the listener
singing along with this song of thanksgiving and praise. It is the
perfect praise and worship song, with a simple, yet powerful chorus,
cleverly worded lyrics, that are entertaining yet true, leaving the
listener full of love and appreciation for the Lord. There are 12 things
mentioned that good ol' God does for us, because He loves us!
Chorus: "Whoa-oa-oa, the only way I know/ Whoa-oa-oa's good ol' God!"
"Where's the place you go to hide/ When your life's a bumpy ride? / Good ol' God/ Good ol' God"//
"Who's the petrol in your tank/ Who's the money in your bank?/ Good ol' God/ Good ol' God"//
*(My personal favorite!)- "Every time you've lost your keys/He says, "Here they are / Get off your knees"/Good ol' God/ Good ol' God"//
"When your family fades away/Who's the one who says, "I'll Stay."/Good ol' God/ Good ol' God"//
"When good fortune waves good-by/gives you other fish to fry/ Good ol' God/ Good ol' God"//
album, I MADE LEMONADE is a musical joy that offers always
interesting, spirit-lifting compositions, dynamic, expressive vocals and
lyrical messages that bring a sense of hope and gratefulness for who
the Lord is and what He means to us. This album is a must-have musical
tool of encouragement; a really delightful collection of songs that can
blast away negativity and encourage a positive trust and faith in the
Lord, through all of life's challenges and tragedies. This collection of
songs encourages us all,to depend on the Lord, to get past life's
troubles, and carry on, in showing love to others and enjoying the joy
of the Spirit as we stay in God's will for our lives. "TRUST ON, LOVE
ON, JOY ON!"
Julie Carr - Reviewer for ChristianMusic.com
SOURCES INCLUDE: ceili rain, and Frank Lewis.
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