Duncan Chisholm,
The Door of Saints
(Copperfish, 2001)

When I realized the CD in my mailbox was from Duncan Chisholm, a fiddler known best for his work with the Scottish folk-rock band Wolfstone, I expected a blast of high-energy tunes in a driving, electrified arrangement. I couldn't have been more wrong.

I failed to take into account his equally energetic but unplugged work with the Highland band Blazin' Fiddles, with which I'm very familiar, and his solo and session career, with which I'm not. But I can tell you, Chisholm's The Door of Saints is gentle, tranquil and beautiful.

Mixing traditional selections with several more recent compositions, Chisholm has produced an album that soothes a troubled spirit. The music is relaxing but never ambient; every bow stroke is gorgeously executed. The talent involved in this project captures your attention and holds your focus 'til the final track -- when you're compelled to listen to the album again.

I know I will. And you should, too. This is a keeper for anyone who enjoys the calming, mystical sounds of a Gaelic fiddle.

- Rambles
written by Tom Knapp
published 4 January 2003

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