|Reviews from the Atlanta Celtic Quarterly
All reviews by David Marcus unless otherwise noted.
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Natalie MacMaster (fiddle) with Dave MacIsaac (guitar);
Tracey Dares (piano); Brian Leonard (drums); others. 13 tracks; 55'17".
Rounder CD 7023.
|Audio clips & track listing
more of a solo album than the others reviewed in this issue,
No Boundaries is a fiddle tour-de-force by one of today's foremost
young Cape Breton players. Alive and joyful, full of verve and energy,
it shows better than most albums why dour people referred to the fiddle
as the devil's instrument. Based in the Cape Breton tradition with
excursions to Scotland, Texas (Beaumont Rag), and Quebec
(Reel Beatrice & others). and points in between, these performances
share a lot with the best of Eileen Ivers' energy and willingness
to cross geographic as well as traditional boundaries. In some ways
this CD isn't for the faint of heart, but the core of the fiddle playing
is as traditional as it gets.
The piano (an instrument I prefer not to hear in traditional Irish
music), is the natural accompanist for Cape Breton music and it adds
a lot of get-up-and-go to the arrangements. It also gives a New England
contra dance feel to some of the music--not that there is much
on this album that fails to make me want to dance. Drums help kick
many cuts with a style that moves between Scottish dance (after the
chaperones, if any, have left) and rock. A beautiful arrangement of
Silverwells, played by an ensemble of 12 strings, and the
Lament for the Death of Rev. Archie Beaton, accompanied
by simple piano part, both let you catch your breath.
If you want a traditional sound, stay away from this CD but otherwise
it is a must have for anyone who likes hot fiddle music.
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