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Private Label LC0002 

Liz just has to be the queen of modern Irish tune composers. A multitude of her compositions over many years have seeped their way into the tradition, have been adopted by many artists and bands and are played in sessions the world over – even if the musicians don't recognise their origin. This is an album of new tunes all penned by Liz, with one poignant solo piano piece from Jake.

As one would expect, the fiddle playing is top notch, in that inimitable Liz Carroll fiery style which aficionados will instantly recognise; Liz can inject an energy into her playing which few can match and, by the same token, can wring every drop of emotion from the slower pieces.

Jake’s guitar accompaniment is excellent; rhythmic and driving and a perfect match for Liz's fire – very much in the John Doyle school of playing (and that's some compliment!). He also sympathetically fills in the arrangements with subtle piano, electric guitar and synth, never detracting from what is going on with the tune. Additional, occasional enhancement comes from Chico Huff on electric bass, John Anthony on percussion and Joanie Madden on whistle for one track.

The opening track Heath And Bernies / Half Day Road / Tune For Jim DeWan is an absolute belter with more energy than anyone should be able to deliver with a fiddle. There's not a bad track on this album - be it jigs, reels, old-timey style tunes or lovely slow airs, every one is worth another listen or ten! This is a gem of an album with many great tunes which will undoubtedly last the test of time and will propagate themselves throughout the tradition. If you're a fiddle fan, buy it – you won't regret it!

Jim Byrne


This review appeared in Issue 129 of The Living Tradition magazine