Jerry Holland & John Doyle,
Helping Hands
(Fiddlesticks, 2009)

Jerry Holland's untimely passing couldn't silence his music until the very end.

And even then, the legendary fiddler's music lived on. For those who need a reminder just how talented Holland was -- and how well he played with others -- pick up this posthumous release, Helping Hands -- recorded shortly before his death from cancer in 2009 -- with Irish guitarist John Doyle.

Sparked by various musical connections over the years -- most famously at the 2006 Celtic Colours International Festival and the 2008 ICONS Festival in Boston -- this album captured two giants at the peak of their abilities. There's no ego here -- Doyle, himself a headliner, is content here to let the fiddle shine while providing incredibly nuanced support. It's just two fine musicians doing what they love.

And the music sings. There are 18 phenomenal tracks, and the liner includes copious notes by Holland, completed just over two weeks before he died.

Thanks to Doyle -- and the other folks involved in making this happen -- for giving us one last love note from Jerry Holland to his music ... and anyone with the good fortune to listen.

music review by
Tom Knapp

22 December 2012

Agree? Disagree?
Send us your opinions!

what's new