Fiddler's Green

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Stagebox Review

by Dave Sleger

This two-disc live collection continues, partially, on the more rock-oriented path of 1998's Spin Around as it was recorded during that album's German tour. Luckily, Fiddler's Green doesn't neglect their more obvious folk-infused material from earlier recordings, either. In fact, on many tracks, fiddler Tobi Schafer has never sounded better. He especially shines on "The Reel Jig Bag" and "Drive the Golden Spike," and is generally featured more prominently than on either of the band's two previous albums. Several of their favorite traditional songs appear on Stagebox, like "Follow You Up to Carlow," "Rose of Ballymore," and "The Mermaid," and are performed with a passion and energy not found on disc since 1995's King Shepherd. Perhaps Fiddler's Green rightfully concluded that it's preferable to be an exceptional folk-rock group than just an ordinary rock band.

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