Life is All Checkered
Own label GF001
1. The Crib of Perches / Into the Woods / Johnny McGreevy's (Reels); 2. The Bachelor / The Flogging Reel (Hornpipe / Reel); 3. Quinn's / The Graf Spey (Reels); 4. Life is All Checkered / The Lark's March (Jigs); 5. The Coal miners / The Trip to Nenagh / The Blocker (Reels) Laura Solo; 6. Bundle and Go / My Mind Will Never be Easy (Jigs); 7. The Fairest Rose (Hornpipe) Nathan Solo; 8. The Old Wooden Bridge / Delia Crowley's / The Heather Breeze (Reels); 9. Lament for O'Donnell / Star Above the Garter (Air / Slide) Laura Solo; 10. The Heights of Muingbhatha / My Otis Thomas Mandolin / The Old Grey Gander (Reels); 11. Child of my Heart / The Blarney Pilgrim / Paddy O'Rafferty (Jigs) Laura Solo; 12. The Cocktail / Bill McEvoy's / The Blackberry Blossom (Reels); 13. Happy Days Again / Padraig O'Keeffe's (Polkas); 14. Miss Patterson's Slippers / The Berehaven (Reels) Nathan Solo; 15. The Blackbird / The Road to Garrison (Hornpipe, Reel).Music is, above all else, about communication. The nature of that communication will depend upon the nature of the music and the intention of the performer(s). As a performer, it is central to that communication to know who you are!
It is perfectly natural for anyone, anywhere, to fall in love with a foreign music Irish, in this case) - to listen to lots of it and even to play or sing some of it. The pitfall is to forget that you're not Irish, and to try to play it as if you were! I think that this is the central difficulty I have with the playing on this CD. There's no question that Nathan Gourley and Laura Feddersen aren't excellent fiddlers, haven't chosen a great selection of splendid tunes, backed up with sensitive guitar or bouzouki by Brian Miller, or had them brilliantly recorded.
Taken individually, each track is most enjoyable - here's the start of track 8, for example. But 15 in a row, I'm afraid, bring me to an inevitable conclusion ... despite all the praise given in the previous paragraph, the whole CD ends up being pretty boring. This is a great shame, but I suspect that it's a result of not being Irish, but American, and learning all these tunes (as far as I can see from the Notes) from other Americans. That shouldn't make a difference if you know who you are and play like who you are - but I don't think Nathan and Laura have quite mastered it yet.
Rod Stradling - 22.2.15
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