Sunday, April 19, 2009

Máirín Fahy - "Máirín"

Over the past few months, I've heard several Irish fiddle albums that made me feel as though I was at a recital; the playing was technically precise but there was really no joie de vivre in the music. So when I came across Máirín Fahy's album, I didn't have high hopes. However, the picture of her purple electric fiddle intrigued me enough to give it a listen. What I found was a thoroughly engaging recording full of passion and flair.

"Máirín" is a collection of mostly upbeat traditional and original material that showcases Fahy's fiddling skills. "Midnight in Galway" and "The Celtic Prancer" are the most contemporary, featuring electric guitar riffs that, in the former, seem out of place, but definitely more at home in the latter. "Tip of the Iceberg", written by fellow Riverdance member Brendan Power, is a rousing Americana-styled tune, with Power's blues harmonica jamming alongside Fahy's fiddle. The highlights of this album are Fahy's rendition of "Flower of Magherally" and the beautiful air "Mission Bay", co-written with brother Gerald. The only disappointments are the other vocal tracks, "Every Circumstance" and "Irish Maid". Fahy has a very fine voice but these songs just didn't work for me.

Overall, this is a lively and fun album and is definitely worth checking out. You can find out more about Máirín Fahy at her website.

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