now playing: texas honky tonks and donegal fiddles
not on the same record, actually -- though I can hear how that might work:
Jason Arnold and the Stepsiders offer very tasty Texas dance hall country on their twelve track debut CD, With Friends Like These. The lyrics are mostly of a man trying to come to terms with a woman who leaves, but in the spirit and in the moment enough to make you believe and dance along. Not quite the barn burning intensity of Jack Ingram or the laid back poetry of Bruce Robison -- at least not yet -- but worth the listen. Think Chris Wall with maybe a touch of George Strait.
From the western part of Ireland comes Traditional Fiddle Music of Donegal, an extensive collection of the work of master fiddle player Con Cassidy. The liner notes will help you set Cassidy in historical context; the music needs only that you listen. Not some stuffy bit of history, this, but vibrant fiddling which would, under certain circumstances, be right at home in Gruene Hall or Scholtz Bier Garten in the Texas hill country.
Keep your eye out for more on Con Cassidy’s disc, along with lots of other great musical stuff, in a forthcoming issue of the folk music magazine Dirty Linen..