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The most successful American-born competitor in the history of the All-Ireland championships, with seven fiddle titles and a tenor banjo title to her credit, native New Yorker Eileen Ivers displays a breathtaking technical range and a refreshing, riveting choice of repertoire on Eileen Ivers, her solo album debut. Her Cape Breton medley is nothing short of incendiary, with fiery fiddling between Eileen and Cape Breton’s Natalie MacMaster, who also provides superb piano backing as fellow Cape Bretoner Dave MacIsaac turns up the flame further on acoustic guitar. For anyone less assured and adept, "Pachelbel’s Canon" might prove daunting, but the sheer artistry and inventiveness of Eileen’s fiddling creates something wholly fresh out of this 17-century classical tune, aptly called "Pachelbel’s Frolics" here. Eclectic, exhilarating, such selections are skillfully balanced by hard-core Irish traditional tracks. Included are rousing renditions of the jigs "Humors of Ballyloughlin" and "Knocknagow," a soulful fiddle solo on the slow air "Caoine Uí Domhnaill" (Lament for O’Donnell), and a marvelous medley of dance tunes in tribute to her late teacher, West Limerick fiddler Martin Mulvihill. Accompanying Eileen are 17 high-profile musicians drawn from Irish traditional, Cape Breton, jazz, and rock, including past and present members of Cherish The Ladies, Chanting House, and the Hall and Oates band, all groups she has toured and recorded with. In short, this is a sensational solo debut from a fiddler of seemingly limitless talent.
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