Marty Fahey, Kevin Brehony, Davie Keith, John Shine, Cleek Schrey: piano
A native of Cork, fiddle player John Daly now lives in Chicago where he performs about town and often anchors the sessions at the famous Abbey pub. This is where I myself first met John, and had a wonderful time playing with him and discovering on the go his inventive style of variation. John confessed almost apologetically that it wasn't to everybody's taste, but I have always been fascinated by that aspect of traditional playing, and could not get enough. John seems to have kept that penchant somewhat in check on this, his first solo album, and the music is a little more tame than my "live" experience had made me expect. Not that the album is in any way boring, quite the opposite. The influences on John's style of playing are diverse, from the music of Co. Leitrim and Fermanagh which he was exposed to while living in Co. Cavan, to the air playing of the great Shetland fiddle master Willie Hunter. These diverse influences reflect on the repertoire chosen for this album, including quite a few tunes penned by John himself, and on the manner in which it is performed, to give great variety to the whole. John is accompanied on piano by several well-known players, including Marty Fahey, Kevin Brehony (Sligo), and Davie Keith (Shetland), and is joined on a couple of airs by violin and viola player Liz Knowles. Most enjoyable.
Rating: *** 1/2
1. Jigs: Junior Gill / The Blacksmith's Fiddle / Compliments to Cleek
2. Reels: Love at the Endings / Killarney Boys of Pleasure
3. Air: Love of the Isles
4. Hornpipes: Flaherty's / Bonaparte Crossing the Rhine
5.Reels: Ruddal and Roses / Full o' the Wavin'
6. Jigs: Princess Nancy / The Crown of Thorns
7. Reels: Music at Phil's / All About Rhythm
8. Air: Alcie
9. Reels: Pigeon on the Gate / Geehan's
10. Jigs: The Nifty Fiddler / The Twinbrook
11. Reels: Marie McLean / Cape Breton Fiddlers' Welcome to Shetland
12. Jigs: The Currach / Jack Allen
13. Reels: The First Lady of Shetland / Georgina's / The Drummer