Celtic Fiddle Festival

Green Linnet GLCD1230

Celtic Fiddle Festival’s new recording witnesses a change in line-up following the death of member, fiddler Johnny Cunningham. Although a difficult decision, the group decided to invite French-Canadian fiddler Andre Brunet to tour with them. The results were so impressive that they decided to record three shows and compile the album. And what a wonderful creation. Hearing it will make you glad that they decided to Play On…

The four members play three fiddles, with an occasional fourth, as well as guitar. This could wind up sounding far too busy, however, in the masterful hands of Kevin Burke, Christian Lemaître, Brunet and Ged Foley it sounds clean, crisp and like a lot of fun! The tunes range from slow, moving airs to fast paced French-Canadian tunes to the Yiddish ‘Itzikel’.

‘Leaving Brittany ’ is a lilting piece composed by Cunningham, with one fiddle leading while the other two play a beautiful harmony accompaniment. ‘O’Carolan’s Concerto/Loftus Jones’ has a definite classical feel to it, which is an interesting contrast to the rest of the material. The final set of Breton tunes, ‘An Droiou’, brings all the fiddles together, to stunning effect.

The entire album has a bright feel to it, uplifting the listener and drawing them into the graceful playing of the group. The tight-knit collaboration of the four members is even more impressive when it is remembered that this was recorded live. Celtic Fiddle Festival has brought us a fantastic recording that should not be missing from any collection of contemporary Celtic music.

Jean Price