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JOHN McCUSKER "Yella Hoose" Temple COMD2083

There are eighteen guest musicians featured on John McCusker's second 'solo' CD, "Yella Hoose". Between them, they play nearly twenty different instruments and Kate Rusby sings. Space does not allow me to list them all, or their instruments, but they are among the best on the scene today. John, who plays fiddles, cittern, piano and whistles, is, of course, the only person to appear on all tracks. Even so, this CD is a great collaborative effort. John's own impressive compositions make up the bulk of the material, all flawlessly played and faultlessly arranged - everything is musically seamless. There are no rough edges here despite the many combinations of players, instruments and styles. I do not normally select individual tracks for mention - one man's meat etc. - but 'Night Visiting Song' (Music - McCusker, Words - Trad./Rusby) is a real gem. That said, it is only fair to point out that all the tracks are excellent. While most of the music on "Yella Hoose" is newly composed or arranged, to me it manages to convey a feeling of, and respect for, the tradition. This is a great talent and John McCusker is a many talented man. "Yella Hoose" is very highly recommended.

Danny Saunders

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This album was reviewed in Issue 40 of The Living Tradition magazine.