Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Alex Reidinger - "The Pleasures of Hope"
The Pleasures of Hope, by American multi-instrumentalist Alex Reidinger, is a collection of traditional Irish tunes that calls to mind gently rolling hills and pub sessions. Alex is quite proficient on the fiddle, harp and concertina, and this recording features her talents on all three instruments. Though there is some layering of her instruments together, for example fiddle & harp, on a track, each track still retains a primary instrument as the focal point
The album starts off with the concertina-driven Hanly's Tweed, a great foot-tapping set. The subsequent concertina tracks, as well as most of the fiddle tracks, are reminiscent of some Irish sessions I've been to; fun and enjoyable but nothing that really stands out. A couple of the fiddle tracks at the end of the recording, notably The Bird in the Bush and Cro' Na nGabhnar, have edge and spunk to them and bring the recording to a nice close. The surprise here is the harp tracks. They have a contemporary flair and these are definitely the stand-out tracks. My favorites, which are also my overall favorite tracks of the recording, are Crabs in the Skillet and Paddy Fahy's/Lad O'Beirne's.
Alex is still quite young and The Pleasures of Hope provides a taste of things to come. I think she is going to have a great career ahead of her.