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In My Hands

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Album Review

The basic approach taken by Celtic fiddler Natalie MacMaster and her producer, arranger, and guitarist Gordie Sampson is to take a group of traditional tunes, for example, the march and three reels mixed together and called "The Farewell," and come up with a folk-rock arrangement that emphasizes MacMaster's lyrical playing as well as a sturdy backbeat. But the two feel the need to spice things up even more, and so there are several unusual tracks, starting with the lead-off title song, in which MacMaster recites a lyric in tribute to her instrument, and including "Space Ceilidh," which features some appropriately spacy "programming"; "Olympic Reel," a rock workout with new age elements written by Mark O'Connor, who duels with MacMaster on his own fiddle; and "Get Me Through December," a ballad with Alison Krauss on vocals. The result is a hybrid album intended to appeal to a broader audience than the purist Celtic crowd, or perhaps to introduce them to some new sounds without putting them off.

Biography

Born: 1973 in Inverness County, Nova Scotia, Ca

Genre: World

Years Active: '80s, '90s

The niece of influential Cape Breton fiddler Buddy MacMaster, Natalie MacMaster has turned the music of Cape Breton, an island off the east coast of Canada near Nova Scotia, into an international phenomenon. Whether performing with her band, featuring guitar, piano, bass, drums and percussion, or with a classical orchestra such as the Edinburgh Symphony, MacMaster has thrilled audiences with her exciting fiddling and dynamic stage persona. Inspired by the musical members of her family, MacMaster...
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In My Hands, Natalie MacMaster
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