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THERESA KAVANAGH - An Choill Uaigneach  The Lonesome Forest

THERESA KAVANAGH - An Choill Uaigneach The Lonesome Forest
Private Label TK2017

This is certainly not your typical traditional Donegal fiddle recording, combining as it does the music of that area with Theresa’s own compositions and an interpretation that seems to me to reflect both her North Donegal home and a Scots upbringing.

Above all, this is music competently performed by an experienced player, and this shows in the way that the new compositions blend seamlessly with the traditional tunes – I’d defy anyone to tell which of the four tunes that make up track seven wasn’t traditional, for example. There’s also plenty of variety, with some good slower work; my stand-out track was Rian Máthartha/Geantrai Na Sí – although, as a singer, the lyrical nature of slower airs often attracts me. And there was a song, a well-executed version of Bitter The Parting which left me wanting another one. It was helped by a tastefully unobtrusive saxophone accompaniment, also used on a couple of other tracks; in fact, all the accompaniment on this recording did exactly what accompaniment should (but doesn’t always) do – it accentuated and commented on, but never overpowered the main instrument. This is unsurprising when you consider that the production was in the more than capable hands of Manus Lunny.

In truth, I could find little to cause me any reservations, except to say that, while this is a most worthwhile recording which should please those who buy it, this is a performer whose star will shine yet more brightly in the future.

John Waltham

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