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Private Label IONA1

Hailing from Co Waterford, Iona Ritchie sings, and plays accordion, melodeon and fiddle. This, her debut CD, is a mix of traditional styled songs, traditional (or ‘in-the-tradition) tunes, and a couple more of Iona’s own compositions.

But what makes this CD just a wee bit different is that Iona is only 14. As such, this CD is a good record of this stage in her musical journey – a journey which I am sure is only beginning. Though she is already an accomplished musician, she also has some miles ahead of her and her knowledge and expertise is bound to strengthen and develop over the course of the next few years.

Her fiddle playing is strong and the tracks that feature the fiddle are among the best here. She handles two O’Carolan tunes (Captain O’Kane and O’Carolan’s Welcome) well, and gives us a nice rendition of the emotive air, Táimse I Mo Chodladh. Her accordion / melodeon playing is also very competent, although perhaps slightly more chunky in places, and she adds four songs including When Pat Came Over The Hill and The Kilmacthomas Girl.

Iona is certainly one to watch – she clearly has a great talent and I would be interested to see what she can do once she has the experience of a few years behind her.

Fiona Heywood

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This album was reviewed in Issue 124 of The Living Tradition magazine.