Liz Carroll & John Doyle
at the Center for Cultural Exchange,
Portland, ME
(19 November 2005)

The final stop on Liz Carroll and John Doyle's autumn 2005 tour was the Center for Cultural Exchange in Portland. The show was over-sold and chairs were crammed into every available space, obliterating the aisles and causing consternation over emergency egress. However, all that was forgotten as the artists took the stage; a low-key entrance exploded into an energetic set of tunes from their recent album, In Play.

Over the course of two sets, we were treated to most of the tunes from the new album (lucky for us as they'd sold out of the CD!) as well as past compositions by Liz and songs from John's own new album.

John's songs, plus modern arrangements of traditional American ballads and original compositions in the same style, provided a calming respite from Liz's many, highly danceable tunes. Her distinctive fiddle-playing seems to cover more notes than possible while remaining focused, lively and heartfelt.

Together Liz and John gracefully captivated the crowd. His percussive guitar technique underscored the fiddle's melody while his finger-picking wove notes into the tune. The artists, delighted to be there, wondered why they'd waited so long to come to Portland; we hope it won't be long until they return.

by Michelle Doyle
18 February 2006

[ visit Liz Carroll's website ]

[ visit John Doyle's website ]