Emma Sweeney

Fri, Feb 1, 2013, 00:00

Pangea Sweeney Records****

New infusions are the lifeblood of traditional music: evidence of its beating heart. On Pangea, formidable Manchester fiddler Emma Sweeney breathes life into an inventive collection of old tunes, cannily marrying them with one ear cocked for the quirks and foibles that set each one apart. Sweeney has a neat line in subtle tune compositions, characterised by a restraint that fits hand in glove with the album’s reflective mood. Mentor and producer Mike McGoldrick complements Sweeney’s wide- angle lens with unobtrusive arrangements, where a high- octane cast (including Donald Shaw and Manus Lunny) play with ease. Sweeney’s inclusion of Nick Drake’s A Place to Be is an unexpected delight, anchoring her collection in a place where she is in full control, grounded yet frequently free to take flight. A highly impressive debut. emmasweeneymusic.com

Download: A Place to Be

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