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Welcome Here Again
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Martin Hayes ranks as one of the most eloquent fiddlers ever to emerge from Ireland. His remarkable technique, intimate style and fresh approach to tunes have won him devoted fans across the world. From Maghera, County Clare, Hayes picked up the fiddle at the age of seven and by his teenage years was playing alongside his father, famed fiddler of the renowned Tulla Ceili Band, PJ Hayes. His self-titled debut album, recorded after he has relocated to America in his 20s, ambushed critics and audiences alike with the power and emotion of this still-unknown young artist. In the 15 years since, Martin has become recognized as one of Irish music's giants. His performances, like his albums, build with a slowly-galvanizing fire, bringing festival audiences and noisy pubs to absolute silence. Though Hayes has won Ireland's top musical honors - Traditional Musician of the Year (National Entertainment Awards), Best Traditional Act (Hot Press/Heineken Awards), and the highest praise from an international press corps, he remains a humble player, an original. Now in tandem with Dennis Cahill, the Chicago-born son of County Kerry immigrants and one of the most innovative guitarists on the Irish music scene, Martin Hayes is redefining traditional music without compromising its essential nature. This is Hayes & Cahill's first new studio album in almost ten years. It was once common for Irish musicians to record one tune at a time, to make each one a self-contained masterpiece. Coleman did it. Morrison did it. Martin Hayes is not of their stature - not yet anyway - but together with Dennis Cahill he aspires to the same musical crucible which renders the essence of the tunes, revealed in their purest form, accessible and appealing to all. The mesmeric rhythms, the tantalizing slow release of melody, the extra tone from viola or tuned-down fiddle, all of that and more is on this album.
Top Customer Reviews
I've always felt that Hayes' treatment of a tune gives it time to breathe; it's as if he's exploring the tune rather than just playing it. Hayes was a great admirer of the late Tommy Potts and, on some of these tracks, it shows. He doesn't go as far out on a tune as Potts used to but the influence is still there. Although some of the tunes are played relatively slowly for dance music, Hayes is well capable of striking sparks from the others. His fiddle-playing is relaxed but still has the fire of his Clare background. At first listening, it's typical Hayes; on further listening, it's Hayes at his best. I rushed to buy it as soon as it was released; I'm glad that I did. I didn't expect to be disappointed, and I wasn't. Oops! I almost forgot to credit Dennis Cahill for his impeccable guitar accompaniment.
My only niggle is the packaging of the CD; a 3-fold cardboard sleeve that at first sight seems better suited to a promotional release rather than Green Linnet's usual standard. It looks like I'll need to perform surgery on it and keep it in a proper jewel case. Mind you, 'jewel case' is appropriate for 'Welcome Here Again'.
There are natural genius in all forms of musics we have Hendrix on the Guitar Miles on the Trumpet Jarrett on piano and I think on the folk fiddle we have Mr Hayes, an undoubted genius!
The opening track The Clare reel is just superb I can't stop playing it,Hayes style is not like most fiddle players he almost makes the tunes talk to you, his fiddle has its own voice it's so distinctive.
Sometimes this type of music /album to the casual listener can become tedious dull or samey, this album is not like that, not with this calibre of musical improvisation and style.
Hayes and Cahill continue in the fine tradition of County Clare Traditional musicians.
For lovers of this style of music you will not be disappointed.
A little word on Mr Cahill he makes the music move along with his unselfish rhythm playing they are a fine duo.
Though maintaining the traditional steady rhythms of his native County Clare, Martin yet manages to free them up a little, with his characteristically inspired, and inspiring interpretations - making the music come truly alive, and redefining the more conservative parameters of `Trad' with spirit and verve.
It is Martin Hayes'sss unique and instantly recognisable soundscape that that keeps his audiences entranced, and keeps them coming back for more, whether it be in America, or the far reaches of Asia, or simply jamming in the mother's living room in county Clare!
There are around 18 separate tracks/tunes on this 2008 album - a blend of amazing reels, and jigs (though some quite short), with a couple of rather melancholy `slow airs' to balance things out. On listening to it at first, it felt that on a few tracks at the beginning, the violin / fiddle seemed to take a back seat to the other instruments - which sometimes sounded a little too `center stage' for my liking. However after listening to it over and over (as you do with Martin Hayes), that doesn't seem a real problem now.. To compensate, there are a couple of wonderfully wild tracks towards the end featuring classic Martin in full throttle...feet going...hair flying...he's off!!
I would definitely recommend this CD for anyone with any sensitivity for traditional fiddle music played with real soul and zest! Don't be without his earlier CDs either - they're as good if not better! For Martin Hayes newbies - don't think about it too long - life's too short!!