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The Sligo Indians

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Album Review

The notation below Tony DeMarco's name on the album cover says "New York Irish Fiddler," but the fact that he's from New York is less interesting than the apparent fact that he's, well, Italian. In fact, he's half Italian and half Irish, and it's the latter side of his heritage that is on full display on this stunning collection of tunes played in the style common to County Sligo. It's a style that relies less on florid ornamentation than some others do, while leaning more heavily on melodic variation; DeMarco's particular sound is admirably clear and clean, his approach to variation intelligent without being overly showy. On his long-overdue solo debut he is accompanied by an all-star cast of sidemen including Kevin Burke, Jerry O'Sullivan, Seamus Tansey, and even legendary jazz bassist John Pattitucci, among many others. Identifying highlights is difficult on a program as consistently brilliant as this one, but a few do stand out: the simple but soaringly lovely tune "Philip O'Beirne's Delight" features not only some of DeMarco's most tasteful playing, but also quietly brilliant guitar accompaniment by John Doyle and an array of Latin percussion as well. The slow air "The Blackbird" is a mournful but beautiful duet between DeMarco and uilleann piper Ivan Goff, and there's a polka set that features absolutely stunning double-tracked fiddle and baritone fiddle playing by DeMarco alongside some brilliantly understated bodhran playing by Tom English. It all adds up to one of the most thoroughly enjoyable albums of traditional Irish music to be heard in years. Very highly recommended.

Customer Reviews

Tony DeMarco is the Best in Irish Music!

This astonishing, very memorable album is, in a word, AWESOME! He deserves to be listened to repeatedly. In a word, he's a genius.


Born: May 20, 1955 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: World

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Born in Brooklyn, NY, on May 20, 1955, to a very musical family, Tony DeMarco is a well-known and well-respected figure on the Irish fiddle circuit. His abilities in his particular style, that of Sligo fiddling, have earned DeMarco a successful career spanning more than three decades, including collaborations with such artists as Celtic Thunder, Black 47, and fellow fiddler Brian Conway. His first foray into the traditional fiddle arts came in the early '70s, when DeMarco was a student of American...
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The Sligo Indians, Tony DeMarco
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