Various Artists

Hands Across the Water

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Released almost a year after the tsunami disaster in Southeast Asia, 2005's HANDS ACROSS THE WATER is a benefit album for the young, often orphaned survivors of that tragic event. The general mood here is mellow yet hopeful, with contributions by a wide range of artists, including John Prine, Jackson Browne, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Blue Merle, Cerys Matthews, and Jim Lauderdale. Many of the tracks carry a Celtic feel, including Tim O'Brien and Lunasa's gentle "Fair and Tender Ladies" and Altan's "Let's Heal," which features Vince Gill. Perhaps the most affecting song is the collection's closing track, a beautiful instrumental rendition of "In the Sweet By and By" by dobro master Jerry Douglas and whistle player Ciaran Tourish that manages to embody the project's thoughtful spirit.

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