The sixth album by this young talent again finds Kathryn Tickell displaying her exemplary skill on both fiddle and Northumbrian pipes. The Gathering consists of a wide range of traditional styles, Tickell originals and even a Brendan Power tune -- "Real Blues Reel" -- which actually has harmonica whiz Power and Tickell (on pipes) performing in perfect unison with one another. That unlikely pairing is the by-product of their first meeting at a Cork music festival where, unbeknownst to either artist, they were scheduled to perform on stage together. Tickell possesses many strengths on both instruments and displays them quite naturally and very tastefully. "Lads of Alnwick" requires both speed and precision on the pipes to do the piece justice, and at the risk of sounding clichéd, she delivers an "infectious melody" on an old favorite, "Peacock's March." "La Bettaille Dans La Petit Arbre" is an uptempo Cajun waltz which she plays painstakingly on fiddle, and "Tune for Matt Robeson" is an introspective fiddle tune she wrote in memory of her grandfather. Through it all, her band -- Ian Carr on acoustic guitar and Neil Harland on bass -- provides Tickell with adept accompaniment and periodically gets to showcase their expert abilities.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Dave Sleger