Fidl: Decade review – Nothing short of breathtaking

Fri, Dec 6, 2019, 05:00




Raelach Records


This trio of fiddle players have already made their mark, with three exceptional albums. Ten years on, they’ve reunited, and the results are nothing short of breathtaking. Donegal’s fiddle tradition is writ large across their canvas, and all three fiddlers (Ciarán Ó Maonaigh, Damien McGeehan and Aidan O’Donnell) between them contribute six original tunes to the mix.

Fidil draw deep from the well of the Donegal and Scottish traditions, but they also borrow one of Siobhán Peoples’ fine tunes: a mazurka they’ve called The First Draft.

The famed tin fiddle sound of Donegal winds its way into Decade, with a newly built fiddle by Rab Cherry, and its deliciously creaky, resonant sound breathes rich life into Damien McGeehan’s delicate pair of tunes, The Girl from Mín na Draighin and The Wolcott Lass.

The inventiveness of the trio’s handling of well-established tunes such as the whirlwind opening reel set, The Pinch of Snuff and The Wild Irishman tells its own story about how voracious their appetites are for mining the deepest seams of the tradition, yet never letting the past stymie their taste for adventure.

Remarkable ensemble playing from this exceptional trio of fiddlers.