Liz Kane: fiddle
Yvonne Kane: fiddle
John Blake: guitar
Mick Conneely: bouzouki
James Blennerhassett: double bass

Liz and Yvonne Kane's debut recording "The Well Tempered Bow" was so good in every way it was hard to imagine what the two fiddle playing sisters from Letterfrack, Connemara, would come up with as a follow-up. Well, the old adage "if it ain't broke" is most fitting here. Although they did invite a couple more musicians to participate as accompanists, in all other aspects their new CD is pretty much identical to the first, down to the great mix of esoteric tunes generously sprinkled with more spine-tingling Paddy Fahey compositions. But who's complaining, not me. I loved the first album, and I love this one... almost as much. Liz and Yvonne seem to have a knack for selecting the most gorgeous Irish tunes ever composed--
the jig "The Lakes of Killarney" is on my list, and so is Liz's own tune "Betsy's Delight"--or having their unique way with old favorites. Listen for instance to their rendition of Reavy's extravagant tune "The Wild Swans at Coole." Another nice surprise is to hear them play Martin Mulvihill's two reels, "The High Road to Glin" and "The Low Road to Glin." The sisters' duet on the slow air "Sean O'Duibhir a Ghleanna," a challenge to record by their own admission, shows a breathtaking balance of precision and expression. An interesting departure from the first album's model is that each sister here takes a solo, Liz doing a fabulous job on the reels "Farewell to Miltown" and "The Wheels of the World," while Yvonne tackles one of Reavy's lesser known reels and yet another Fahey gem. So why, might you ask, am I not giving this new CD the same top rating I gave the first? Well, I worry that Liz and Yvonne might not be able to handle two 5-star ratings in a row. They might get all self-important and not talk to me anymore...

Rating: **** 1/2

Price: $19.99
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    The Well Tempered Bow
    Side by Side
1. Jigs: Mike Cooney's Fancy / The Newtown Bridge / The Lakes of Killarney
2. Reels: Fahey's / Fahey's / The Wild Swans at Coole
3. Reels: The High Road to Glin / The Low Road to Glin / The Whistler of Rosslea
4. Hornpipes: Fahey's / The Acrobat
5. Jigs: The Jolly Corkonian / Aherne's Egg / The Coming of Spring
6. Reels (Liz's solo): Farewell to Miltown / The Wheels of the World
7. Slow Air: Sean O'Duibhir a Ghleanna
8. Reels: Fahey's / Ryan's Rant / The Hut in the Bog
9. Jigs: Jig for Jimmy / Betsy's Delight
10. Reels (Yvonne's solo): Red Tom of the Hills / Fahey's
11. Reels: Fahey's / Fahey's
12. Old Time Waltz
13. Reels: The Jug of Punch / Fred Finn's / The Maghera Mountain