Album Review - Anna Falkenau / Féileacán na Saoirse

Anna Falkenau has just released an album of traditional fiddle music.  It features tunes from the Irish and American old-time music traditions, as well as some original compositions.  Contributors to the record include Ged Foley and Kevin Hough (guitar), Holly Geraghty (harp), Mary Shannon and Lena Ullman (banjo), Steve Sweeney (accordion) and Johnny McDonagh (bodhrán). It’s a powerful and honest approach to the music with clarity and articulation of the melody taking precedence.   Tracks like the hornpipes Fitzgerald's/Bushmills are approached on solo fiddle and benefit from this stripped back approach. The opening reels The House on the Hill/The Leading Role also flow with a relaxed tempo with Shannon and Hough providing the accompaniment.  It's refreshing to hear music slowed down and explored in a manner that reveals more of its basic structure, especially for those who are seeking to learn the tunes. All in all a satisfying and enjoyable recording which delivers some impassioned melodies that really connect with the listener.

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