Cady Finlayson,
Shines Like Silver
(self-produced, 2002)

Cady Finlayson's talent lies with the fiddle, yes, but she is equally skilled in her artistic arrangements of her tunes.

The fiddler from Seattle (now based in New York) presents a grand selection of music on Shines Like Silver. But it's not a fiddle album, as such -- while Finlayson performs extraordinarily well, with a light, refreshing touch, she has brought a fine array of musicians into her ensemble.

Joining Finlayson here are Elkin Brown (acoustic guitar, cittern), Dan Immel (double bass), Hunter Lee (uilleann pipes, tin whistle), Tim O'Brien (mandolin, mandola, octave mandolin), Jim Roberts (percussion) and Kevin Ryan (bagpipes).

Among the excellent tracks here are the airy opener, "Buttermilk Mary/Speed the Plough/The Tarbolton." "Down By the Sally Gardens" marries fiddle, guitar and bass in a lyrical arrangement. "This Old Hammer" uses percussion to great effect to spice up a traditional work song. "For Ireland" is a beautiful duet for fiddle and Highland pipes.

"Humours of Granny White" is a bouncy tune of Finlayson's composition. "Toby's Jig/Jenny's Chickens" is a fast-paced fiddle set enlivened with tribal rhythms. The album ends with a lone fiddle on the mournful "Bright Morning Star."

Finlayson has put together an entertaining album that stretches beyond the bounds of fiddle music. I'd love to hear more from this talented musician.

[ by Tom Knapp ]
Rambles: 18 May 2002

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