Nuala Kennedy,
Tune In
(Compass, 2010)

Known as a cross-genre collaborator; Nuala Kennedy grew up in Ireland before moving to her adopted country, Scotland. Along the way she expanded her talent and abilities. Her biography reads like an international star among traditional performers and teachers.

Composing her own idiosyncratic brand of music, Kennedy's debut solo CD The New Shoes (Compass Records, 2007) was warmly received and named traditional album of the week by The Irish Times and traditional highlight of 2008 by Hotpress.

Tune In, Kennedy's second solo album, was inspired by an old radio dial. It features several guest appearances, with Kennedy stretching her talent on various flutes and whistles along with her vocals, sometimes in harmony with other vocals. Original tunes such as, "All of These Days" and traditional arrangements like "My True Love" are laced together on a harmonious path.

Kennedy's fantastic arrangements with such beautiful instruments as the flute, accordion, mandolin, viola, violin, piano and cello -- and even a hurdy gurdy on the wonderful traditional tune "The Blooming Bright Star of Belle Isle," for instance -- really elevate this production to world class. The last cut, "Five Mile Town," features a trumpet solo that takes this production right out of the box ... as one would expect from this accomplished musician.

As producer, Kennedy gets an A-plus for execution of the sleeve and liner notes. Graphics are lovely and the details are all there.

In addition to touring with her own band, Nuala also performs with Nova Scotian Traditions (Andrea Beaton, Kimberley Fraser and Troy MacGillivray). She is also part of the group OIGHREALLA: the Music & Song of South-East Ulster (Gerry O'Connor, Giles le Bigot and Martin Quinn).

[ visit the artist's website ]

review by
Louise Dunphy

29 May 2010

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