Wednesday, June 27, 2007

now playing: oisin mcauley

Far From the Hills of Donegal

Quebec Reels might indeed seem to have their origin far from the hills of Donegal. The set makes a fine opening track for Oisin McAuley’s first solo album. Best known for his inventive fiddle work with the top Irish band Danu, McAuley was raised in Donegal, took a degree in classical music in Belfast, and lived for a time in Brittany. Now he is based in New England and travels the world playing music with Danu. It’s good to see how he gets these experiences going in a set of tunes which is based in the west of Ireland ideas and adds these perspectives to that style. There's traditional music, including a medley John Doherty’s Highland, Nell Gow’s Wife, and Frank Cassidy’s. Doherty is a particular influence on McAuley, for, the fiddler says. “the way he mixed things up. I thought if he did it could do the same.” Reels, swing, hornpipes and great stash of original tunes play out that idea here. Other notable cuts include Tune for Gillian and Lover’s Ghost.

by Kerry Dexter

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