David Wilkie

Cowboy Celtic

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Canadian mandolin player David Wilkie, accompanied by the string band of Terry and Jeremiah McDade brothers and violinist Shannon Johnson, explores the connection between traditional Celtic music and cowboy music on this largely instrumental disc. With a few original tunes blended in, the tracks are mostly Scottish and Irish melodies that made their way to America where they acquired Western associations and titles like "Shenandoah" and "The Colorado Trail." In Wilkie and the McDades' arrangements, they are returned to their Celtic origins, although they remain recognizable as Western songs. The album has a melancholy tone occasionally enlivened by fast picking and by Wilkie's humorous imagining of history in "Custer Died a-Runnin'," one of his two vocals along with another of his originals, "Tempting the Salmon to Come to the Fly." Wilkie makes his point about the connection between Celtic music and cowboys in a way that will please fans of both genres.

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