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LIZ DOHERTY "Quare Imagination" Buzy Lizzy Records BLR001

As Liz Doherty is a highly respected Irish fiddle player, it would be surprising if an album from her was not good. Her album will not disappoint such high expectations.

Over the last few years, she has had the good fortune to work with musicians from Scotland, England as well as Ireland. As a result, the tunes come from far and near, from Donegal, to Shetland to Cape Breton Island. With backing musicians of the calibre of Tony McManus and Gerry O'Connor and others and with Gerry producing, the album is simply a delight. The range of instruments used is wide, even a trumpet, which gives a richness to the tunes. Despite this, the fiddle is always dominant rather than being drowned out by the other instruments.

The album really has everything for fiddle fans and others who like good quality traditional music from both sides of the Atlantic. As a lover of slow airs and tunes not played at breakneck speed, I particularly liked "Michael's Mazurka", composed by fiddler Michael Ferrie of the popular Shetland band, Fiddlers Bid. Similarly, the march "Braes of Castle Grant" which Liz learned from the playing of Aidan O'Rourke and Claire Mann is superb. The final track, a traditional slow air called "Ansacht na nAnsacht" is a wonderful piece to end on. The more up tempo tunes are most enjoyable and rich in texture. They include the excellent "Jonny Sunshine" by the English/Australian duo of Nancy Kerr and James Fagan, and a set of some lively traditional French Canadian reels.

As far as I am concerned, there is not a single track on the album that I can find fault with. It is simply outstanding!

Dave Dewar

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This album was reviewed in Issue 51 of The Living Tradition magazine.