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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A serendipitous discovery, 28 Aug 2009
J. L. Riley (West Yorkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Heartstring Sessions (Audio CD)
It isn't often that the first time you hear a piece of music you think "that's fantastic", and by comparison much less often that you arrive at that conclusion after only the first dozen bars of the first track; but that would indeed be a fair assessment of the Heartstring Sessions. This music is extremely appealing and will probably pleasantly surprise many that may not be very familiar with folk music generally.

The artists behind this recording are no strangers to the folk world as individuals or musical couples, but the way their talents work together on this disc acting as a quartet is truly inspiring. Each track is quite different in its own right, some drawing on other musical styles, some more traditionally orientated but all well worth listening to. Unfortunately the Amazon website doesn't let you listen to excerpts from this disc (at least, it didn't when this review was written) but you can hear them by visiting their own website {} which hopefully will allow my assessment to be verified for yourself.

From a technical angle, again it's top marks. The quality of the recording is first rate. The balance between the instruments (and voice on the vocal tracks) is just right and perhaps best of all, the range of instruments played gives rise to a lovely warm, full-bodied sound - quite in contrast to a fair amount of folk music that sounds rather thin tonally. If you have good audio gear, this is one recording that will not leave you thinking that there is something lacking.

Considering the amount of music released in recent years, and the staggering proportion of it that can be described no better than "pure unadulterated dross", I'm glad that for once I've found something new that is genuinely worth listening to. If this foursome produce another album as a sequel to this, then I for one will be keen to hear the result.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I'd second the last review, 6 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Heartstring Sessions (Audio CD)
An excellent album all round with some of the best traditional playing that you'll find anywhere - spiced by deviations into some quite unexpected styles on the way.

All four musicians on this album are, as the last reviewer said, maestros in their own right, and true masters of their instruments - the two lady musicians are sisters, and their playing is instinctively complimentary in a way that only happens when players have clearly worked together since childhood. Also, the pairings of Newman and Ni Chathaisaig and McGlynn and Casey are also long standing so again, the musicians work very well together.

Put all four together with this fusion of skills and abilities, and this album is the end result - stunning stuff.
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Heartstring Sessions
Heartstring Sessions by Arty McGlynn and Chris Newman and Nollaig Casey and Maire Ni Chathasaigh (Audio CD - 2008)
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