Winifred Horan

Just One Wish

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While Winifred Horan's step-dancing talents aren't on display on her first solo album, Just One Wish, her ample ability on the fiddle is front and center, much more so than in Solas. That said, this is almost a variant on a Solas disc, given that the band is backing her here, with Seamus Egan producing (and offering one composition). Everything else here is from Horan's pen. Although she's classically trained, her real influence here seems to be jazz, specifically the hot jazz fiddle of St├ęphane Grappelli, in the swing that fires her playing on tunes like "Life Ain't So Bad." While she often plays a more reclusive, decorative role in Solas, when given the chance to shine, she takes full advantage of it, sparkling through "The Princess And The Frog Reels" with grace and style, letting the natural swing and jazzy runs go through the tune. And on the closing air, Egan's "Albatross," she brings an easy beauty to the melody, and some elements of her classical training peek through in the technique. An assured, stylish debut -- with real swing.

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