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DANNY DIAMOND - Fiddle Music

DANNY DIAMOND - Fiddle Music
Private Label DD1

There is neither fuss nor frills about the album title – fiddle music is exactly what you get and, although he has accompanists, the playing is likewise without fuss or frills, so that it delivers exactly what it says on the sleeve. Danny Diamond, however, is one of those fiddlers for whom less is more, as he strips back the tunes to their essentials and allows their purity to be appreciated through his deft playing.

In addition to Danny’s fiddle, we have Ian Lynch, uilleann pipe drones; Aki, nyckelharpa, violincello da Petto; Eoin Ó Beaglaoich, concertina, accordion; Dermy Diamond, fiddle; and Anna Lethert, dancing. Apart from the latter, the accompaniments all feature drones, which is both a subtle and powerfully-effective way of concentrating the listener’s attention on the melody lines, whilst at the same time drawing from an unusual and eclectic number of influences.

Even the recording took a minimalist approach, using a dual microphone approach that required the least editing and post-processing.

Danny, known for his work with the acclaimed group Mórga, is from a musical family, also learning a lot from his youthful County Donegal days and the tunes played here draw on an array of influences across Ireland. There are also five of his own compositions, which also reflect influences from American and Nordic traditions.

The overall effect is striking, as befits a recording which has had a lot of thought put into it, as well as a lot of outstanding musicianship, and I heartily recommend it.

Gordon Potter

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This album was reviewed in Issue 104 of The Living Tradition magazine.