Kevin Burke - Christian Lemaitre - Ged Foley - Andre Brunet
To clarify, Celtic Fiddle Festival is a band, not an event, made up of three fiddlers covering some of the spectrum of Celtic music -- Ireland, France, and Quebec -- along with guitarist Ged Foley, who's easily the hardest-working man on this disc, not only accompanying everyone, but also having a track to himself with the lovingly executed pipe tune "Sir Syndey Smith's March," adapted for guitar. Although there's plenty of power on the four tracks where everyone plays, there's far more subtlety in the duos which explores traditions a little more, especially "The Sligo Maid" set which commemorates the late Irish fiddler Tommy McGowan and features the splendid work of Kevin Burke, who's largely a legend these days himself. But everyone here is of the same high standard, and when the fiddlers have a chance to stretch out a little, it's a joy, and André Brunet works up quite a head of steam on the "Jig De Valcartier" set, while the "Gavottes Pourled" from Christian Lemaitre are a dancing joy. But then again, the whole album is a delight, especially if you're a fiddle fan.
The Celtic folk ensemble known as Cherish the Ladies is made up of a number of talented female musicians who play accordions, flutes, whistles, fiddles, and more. The members are Joanie Madden, Mary Coogan, Mary Rafferty, Heidi Talbot, Donna Long, and Marie Reilly. This award-winning group has done a lot of instrumental work, but these ladies can also sing in harmony together -- quite nicely, in fact. That said, there are still a few instrumental numbers on here to be had. When The Girls Won't Leave the Boys Alone was released in early 2001, Cherish the Ladies had been performing together for around a decade. This is the group's eighth album, and it carries a nice offering of Irish-American folk music that is sure to please Celtic fans. The tunes on this album move from gentle to an energetic pace, fitting any good step dance. A great addition to your keeper shelf.