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Muskegon Chronicle: Fonn Mor

Music Mix sets tone for great evening with Fonn Mor

Monday, April 16, 2007
By Benjamin Smith-Theater Review
Muskegon Chronicle

Every so often I’m fortunate enough to witness a group of musicians with the courage to try something different. Fortunate indeed, Fonn Mor treated 240 West Michiganians and myself to one such experience Saturday night. The self described “Celtic-world B group,” jigged, reeled and rocked the Howmet Playhouse in Whitehall. Using a combo of quitar, button box accordion, drums, flute, bass, fiddle and a laundry list of other instruments, Fonn Mor has achieved something many strive for, yet few accomplish: blend genres into something enjoyable. Fon Mor’s sound is rooted in the Irish Celtic tradition, adding one heaping cup of folk, a spoonful of rock’n roll, a teaspoon of country and a pinch of just about everything else. What exactly is in that pinch of everthing else? Two words: Carolyn Koebel.

Filling the role of drummer, percussionist and backing vocalist, Koebel was remarkable. Beyond serving as the backbone of rhythm, I found Koebel’s versatility the most captivating: switching from rockish staccato drum lines to subtle and serene sound effects without skipping a beat. And just as I’m being mesmerized by Koebel’s talent, I noticed that fiddler extraordinaire Rick Willey is keeping pace despite the fraying hairs on his bow. Scan the stage—yup—the entire troupe is following suit. No one dropped the ball, no one missed a beat. However you want to classify them, Fonn Mor’s rhythm and tempo was wonderfully seamless on Saturday night. Although, the audience did miss the flute portion on the first song- the sound technician quickly remedied the faux pas.

You can catch Fonn Mor 9 p.m. April 28, at Quinn and Tuite’s on Plainfield, Grand Rapids.

© 2006 Muskegon Chronicle. Used with permission