Top positive review
6 people found this helpful
on 3 June 2012
It's difficult to know what new things to say about Transatlantic Sessions. Consistently excellent, with a solid core of musicians enhancing the works of virtuoso guest stars. But it's the core - the wonderful house band - that are the real stars. They don't often get mentioned so let's mention them. In addition to Jerry Douglas (Dobro) and Aly Bain (Fiddle) you get Russ Barenberg and John Doyle (Guitar), Duncan Shaw (Piano, Accordion), John McCusker and Nollaig Casey (Fiddle), Michael McGoldrick (Pipes and Whistles), James Mackintosh (Drums, Percussion) and the legendary Danny Thompson (Bass), invariably augmented by Phil Cunningham (Piano, Accordion) and Donal Lunny (Bazouki).
One of the things that appealed to me about TS5 was the variety of music from the performers. Traditional Gaelic from singers Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh and Kathleen MacInnes - both wonderful warm voices - to straight-ahead Bluegrass from legends like Sam Bush and Alison Krauss, with superb Folk Blues by Eric Bibb and Louisiana tales from Dirk Powell. There's also some left-field stuff from Amos Lee. It's pointless trying to categorise some singers. His 'Mission Bell' album is highly recommended, but the tracks he performed on TS5 sounded so different. That's partly down to the 'backing singers' like Alison Krauss, but mainly as a result of the musicianship of that incredible house band. They really show their mettle with Bela Fleck too. He's played with some great musicians, but none like these.
This series continues to observe the long held tradition of the 'Session', but bends the rules with the variety of the players. To my ears, nothing works better in music.