John McCusker

Goodnight Ginger

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Marriage has a reputation for settling young men down. But fiddler John McCusker's recent marriage to singer Kate Rusby seems to have had something of the opposite effect, if the cover photo that graces his third solo album is any indication -- it shows him sporting a sparse and strangely-coiffed mohawk. Musically, though, he remains fairly conservative, but in a good way. "Goodnight Ginger" consists mainly of original compositions, all of them written in a style that will feel very comfortable to any fan of traditional British and Celtic music. McCusker's remarkable compositional skill and casual instrumental virtuosity are well showcased here, and his accompanists are tastefully chosen -- they include Phil Cunningham and Andy Cutting on accordion, the excellent flutist Michael McGoldrick and bassist Andy Seward, among others; Rusby contributes vocals on a lovely setting of the poem "The Bold Privateer," which employs a melody by Cunningham. Highly recommended to all lovers of the traditional music of the British Isles.

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