Link to Living Tradition Homepage





KATIE McNALLY - Flourish

KATIE McNALLY - Flourish
Hearth Music

With her fiddle tucked under her arm, her own dot-com domain and a bunch of championship titles behind her, this twenty-something from Boston could be the new face of Scottish fiddling in the USA. Alasdair Fraser she ain't, at least not yet, but she has poise and precision, as well as a feeling for the music she plays. Oh, and by the way, Katie wrote most of the tunes on this debut CD. She does get some help from a six-piece backing band, including Hanneke Cassel on harmony fiddle, but Miss McNally makes all the hard strokes herself. She can yank our heartstrings on Favorite's, kick serious ass on The Golden Poppy, or get cool and edgy on In And Out. She may even step over the edge altogether with Dud's Jig - I know she wrote it, but is it really supposed to sound like that? Mind you. I'm still not convinced that Beethoven meant The Ruins Of Athens to turn out the way it did.

About the only serious criticism I have of this CD is that the folder fell apart on day two: the mechanism for attaching the disc to the card is the most Heath-Robinson I've seen in a while. Heaven only knows where the sleevenotes went. When you buy your copy, keep it in a plastic envelope! That aside, Flourish is an exceptionally fine piece of work, full of fine fiddling, with flair and finesse: in fact, exactly what it says on the tin. Katie McNally has chosen some great tunes from the Scottish tradition - The Glen Where The Deer Are, the Skinner heavyweight Gladstone's Reel and the sublimely spooky Unst Bridal March among others - plus a trio of fine compositions from Cunningham and McKerron. These sit on a bed of her own creations, quirky jigs and reels with names like Bad Soup or Riff Raff and Widget, all expertly played. So now we know what Katie did. The question is, what will Katie do next? Visit, or watch this space!

Alex Monaghan

Secure On-line mailorder service
Buy this CD online from The Listening Post
The Listening Post is the CD mailorder service of The Living Tradition magazine.
This album was reviewed in Issue 98 of The Living Tradition magazine.