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Dadgad Music DM1013

So the self-proclaimed ‘Thief of Dadgad’ has been performing for 40 years.  Blimey.  I remember the impact that first hearing his songs such as Le Conseil De Guerre and Le Roi Renaud had on me - and many others - back in the 70s.  This lavish three CD set seems to cover most of his styles and encompasses a huge range of music.  The performances range from the unaccompanied Irish traditional guitar pieces, such as the 18+ minute Celtic Medley, his performances with Dream Theater's prog-rock keyboard player, Jordan Rudess, to straight-down-the-line bluegrass with Bill Keith and Jim Rooney (where he proves he's no slouch on mandolin either) and most things in between.  There are a lot of his own compositions, many of which are terrific demonstrations of guitar playing, improvisatory skills and invention.  There's some great singing as well, something he often doesn't do as much of as he should.  From time to time I feel his melodic sense is a little weak and items either outstay their welcome or become high-class background music, but these are in a minority and I don't expect to feel the same way about everything on over three hours of music! Lovers of great guitar, fascinating musical liaisons and a questing mind need look no further.

Paul Burgess

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This album was reviewed in Issue 102 of The Living Tradition magazine.