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Ashley MacIsaac

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Album Review

Cape Breton fiddler Ashley MacIsaac is as schizophrenic as ever on his self-titled first release for Decca. With his uniquely punk rock approach to Celtic reels and jigs, MacIsaac has plenty of room to toy with drum loops, reversed passages, and bizarro studio effects, and there are certainly moments where that experimentation pays off. The layered and loping "To America We Will Go" and the brittle "This Is My Father" both benefit from this multi-tiered approach, but it can also seem cluttered and unnecessary ("Grapes" may be the worst of these offenders). MacIsaac's strength has always been in his forceful fiddle playing, and this translates best in his updates of the traditional "Chorus Jig" and "Bog an Login," but the songs he has decided to test his own singing voice on fare less well. While his voice is forceful and in key, it is not necessarily interesting, and although this bluesy bar-belting could do justice to a pub-swaying drinking song or an impassioned battle ballad, on the majority of these tunes it just falls a little flat. Overall, as MacIsaac continues to push the boundaries of Celtic fusion he continues to hit and miss, and on this album the interesting textures and adept playing don't always make up for what the songwriting and singing lack.

Customer Reviews

great

i am a big fan of celtic music and this stuff is great!

Another Great Album

Ashley continues to bring out the greatest music that is never disappointing with this album. If you've enjoyed his other albums then you will like this one. Thanks Ashley for another great album!

one missing

good music.... no doubt... but there is one song missing in here.... in the original CD there is a song called "Lay me down" that we don't find here. Just letting you know...

Biography

Born: February 24, 1975 in Criegnish, Cape Breton, Nova Scot

Genre: World

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Ashley MacIsaac is, in a sense, the musical representative of the pre-millennial generation of Atlantic Canada. An ardent traditionalist (and cousin of international Celtic performer Natalie MacMaster) with a penchant, nevertheless, for experimentation, this young Nova Scotian native has been taught to play the fiddle the working-class, pub-stomp Cape Breton way: fast, furious, and with phenomenal precision. Alternately considered a rebel, taking the old fiddling conventions in newfangled directions...
Full Bio
Ashley MacIsaac, Ashley MacIsaac
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