Martin Hayes was just coming to international prominence when this, his first solo album, was released. He plays fiddle in a style modeled on the playing of the older fiddlers in his home county of Clare in the west of Ireland; it 's a gentle, understated approach, never very fast, with lots of slides and a subtle but very expressive use of dynamics. On this album, Hayes had not yet achieved the maturity of tone that would later manifest itself on his next effort (Under the Moon, GLCD 1155), nor is his intonation as effortlessly perfect as it would later become. But his basic conception is fully in place: his aching, midtempo delivery of "The Morning Star" (which is usually played much more briskly) is completely convincing, as is his intricate solo turn on "The Star of Munster" and the simple but gorgeous "The Britches." Guitarist Randal Bayes is a modest presence throughout, but pay attention to what he's doing and you'll find it's almost as impressive as Hayes' playing.
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AllMusic Review by Rick Anderson