Various Artists

Celtic Fingerstyle Guitar, Vol. 2: Blarney Pilgrim

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This disc is the second in a two-volume survey of modern fingerstyle (as opposed to flatpicking) guitarists who specialize in arrangements of traditional Irish and Scots tunes; for each disc, there is a companion videotape of the same title available separately. The videotape includes complete notation of all the arrangements in tablature and traditional notation. Volume 2 leads off with Pat Kirtley's straightforward and heartfelt rendition of the Turlough O'Carolan chestnut "Planxty Irwin," one of the more luscious of O'Carolan's huge oeuvre of heartrendingly beautiful compositions. Martin Simpson's one appearance on this disc doesn't steal the show the way it does on Volume 1, and frankly, there's not much here that quite matches his spectacular work on that disc (though Pierre Bensusan's unusual take on "Sheebeg An Sheemor" comes close). But it's a fine listening experience overall.

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