Celtic Fiddle Festival

Rendezvous

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When the members of the Celtic Fiddle Festival convened in Rhode Island to make their third disc (and first studio album), the magic flew. Kevin Burke represents the Irish tradition, Johnny Cunningham the Scottish, and Christian LeMaître the Breton. Together they've made marvelous music for a number of years, and recorded two live albums, but this offers them a broader scope. With House Band guitarist Ged Foley offering support, their approach is defined by the first track, an interpretation of "O'Carolan's Concerto," by the great blind Irish harpist Turlough O'Carolan. It's stately but sprightly, and ornate without ever going over the top. Above all, it's a demonstration of taste (these men have no need to show their ability, since it's obvious), which is there throughout the record, whether on "The Graf Spee" set or the delicate "Cam Ye By Atholl." This definitely isn't "session" music, but something more thoughtful and weighty -- three masters combining to shine a light on the tunes themselves, and illustrate the similarities and connections among the parts of the Celtic diaspora. One player melds seamlessly into another, and the music speaks beautifully and eloquently throughout.

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