Black Boasts Traditional, Celtic Talents

From The Oreganian

Frances Black is a different kind of Celtic singer, the sort that can cover songs by Vince Gill and John Lennon on the same album.

Black, who will appear Thursday night at Portland's Aladdin Theatre, has the traditional credentials, if not the sound. She's a former member of Arcady, and her sister, Mary Black, is well known in Celtic music circles. But for all that, the drone on her new record, "Talk to Me," is far more likely to be a Hammond B-3 organ than a set of Uilleann bagpipes.

"Talk to Me" is, in fact, the sort of effortless pop that Nanci Griffith excels at - and Black covers a couple of Griffith tunes on the record. But she doesn't copy anyone: Her agile, pure soprano bubbles through these tunes like a mountain stream, and her background comes through in the lilt of tunes such as "Soldiers of Destiny."

Thursday's show begins at 8 p.m.; the Aladdin is at 3017 S.E. Milwau-kie Ave. Tickets are $9.50 (plus service charges) available from Ticket-master outlets or by phone at 224-4400 Tickets also are available from Paola's Restaurant next to the theater.