Irish Accolades!!

June 26, 2009 at 5:36 pm Leave a comment

The Asheville Arts Center is proud to offer Irish Fiddle Lessons with Beanie Odell. She’s an inspirational teacher and accomplished traditional Irish fiddler. As a matter of fact her band “The Red Wellies” has produced an album that is attracting attention across the “pond” in Ireland!!! Here’s the review for you to read. It will be published in the Folkworld and Living Tradition magazine in Ireland….. and then go to their myspace page to take a listen. Careful, you should be in a place where you can start dancing!

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12 tracks, 49 minutes
From the mountainous Eastern USA, this trio of twin fiddles and bouzouki are a force to be reckoned with. Their debut recording is based on well-known Irish traditional material, but The Red Wellies make it their own. Not that they depart from received wisdom: there are no gimmicks, no fancy arrangements, just straight pure Irish spirit bottled in North Carolina. Beanie Odell, Duncan Wickel (who doubles onuilleann pipes) and Vincent Fogarty make a splendid job of grand old tunes: The Boys of Ballisodare, The 12 Pins, The Keys to the Convent, McGlinchey’s Hornpipe, all played as well as you might find in Galway, Cork or Dublin. There is a slight American accent at times, wonderful versions of Lad O’Beirne’s and The Chicago Reel for instance, and unusual settings of The Foxhunter’s Jig and The Blackbird. Pickiness aside, this is a brilliant CD of raw acoustic Irish music. Could have done with some sleeve notes, though …
Odell and Wickel play tight resonant duets, producing a powerful melody line with or without guest Aaron Olwell on flute and concertina. The Sporting Pitchfork and The Slopes of Sliabh Luachra are magnificent jigs, followed by John McEvoy’s excellent Spotted Dog, and The Red Wellies keep the lift and drive throughout. Alice’s Reel is taken at a lovely slow pace which Frankie Gavin would surely approve of. Out in the Night is played almost as well as the classic Fisherstreet version. Lucky in Loveforms the climax of a prodigious set of reels, and ends this album in rare style. The only time The Red Wellies really show their mountain roots (albeit with good dentistry) is on the glorious Creole-style hornpipe The Gypsy Princess which struts its stuff like a Southern belle. Highly recommended: myspace has samples under “RedWelliesIrish”, and an email address. Give these folks a holler, and see if the echo sounds Irish to you!
Alex Monaghan


Entry filed under: Asheville Performing Arts Academy.

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