Taking a break from his fiddling duties with the Battlefield Band, John McCusker concentrates on ten instrumentals and a guest vocal on Yella Hoose. McCusker and a number of friends combine traditional pieces with self-penned ones to create a smooth Celtic blend that's easy on the ears. Reels and jigs like "The Boys of the Puddle/The Scullion's Wife" invite the listener to kick up his or her heels and let down his or her hair, while "Blue Bonnets Over the Border/Khazi" inspires a more reflective mood. Piano and fiddle intermingle in "Al's Big Day," a relaxed meditation that dips into new age terrain. The arrangements of fiddle, guitar, bass, and flutes are always tastefully thought out on Yella Hoose. While McCusker is joined by a number of high-profiled guests like Tim O'Brien, the players always focus their attention on the music at hand. Only on "Night Visiting Song" does vocalist Kate Rusby step to the forefront. As always, her emotive voice offers a sensitive interpretation of this gentle piece. Yella Hoose is the kind of album that provides the perfect soundtrack for a lazy day, playing in the background as the clouds drift along in the afternoon sky. McCusker's fiddle work is lovely here, and the album will provide fans with yet another look at this versatile musician.
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AllMusic Review by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.
feat: Kate Rusby