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Blackbox Music BBM005

Steph Geremia is a young flautist who first played traditional music in her native New York before travelling the globe in search of more.  Fortunately for us, she was drawn to Ireland, and is now a proponent of the Sligo / Roscommon style of flute playing, which is featured here, but not to the exclusion of trips to Brittany and Salamanca, as well as Scotland, with a particularly fine, flowing version of Charlie McKerron’s haunting Alasdair’s Tune.

It’s usually a sign of potential when newer players can persuade more recognised ones to guest on albums, and by that measure, Steph is certainly going places.  Here she’s accompanied by Johnny “Ringo” McDonagh, bodhran; Michael Rooney, harp; Brendan O’Regan, bouzouki and mandolin; Matt Griffin, guitar; Jimmy Higgins, percussion; Alan Kelly, piano accordion; and Tola Custy, fiddle. Steph herself also plays whistle and harmonium, so there’s plenty of variety in the arrangements, and the mixing always allows each instrument its place, so that it all adds up to a highly entertaining package.

With her light, breathy and ebullient style, Steph has truly taken to the music of her adopted homeland, with a good control which retains the integrity of the tunes whilst imbuing them with a freshness and vivacity which makes them really come alive. And to think, this CD is just the first – I’m already looking forward to the next one, or, even better, to hearing her perform live!

Gordon Potter

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This album was reviewed in Issue 88 of The Living Tradition magazine.