Ashley MacIsaac,
(So Plaid, 2011)

Ashley MacIsaac is every bit the fiddler he once was.

But, following his public meltdown a few years back, MacIsaac has had a hard row to hoe to attain his prior acclaim. Crossover, unfortunately, isn't going to get him where he wants to go.

The album is a disjointed mess, with overly loud rock and electronic sounds overwhelming the fiddle in some places. He also distracts from his playing on some tracks by focusing instead on his voice -- which is not a wise decision on his part.

I like what he did with Vivaldi's "Summer" on track 7, and it's always a pleasure to hear Mary Jane Lamond chime in with Gaelic vocals, as she's done for MacIsaac in the past and does again here on his original song, "She's a Rare One."

But the high points are few. As much as I love Cape Breton fiddling and have raved about MacIsaac's abilities in the past, listening to Crossover was more chore than pleasure. He can do better, and should.

[ visit the artist's website ]

music review by
Tom Knapp

26 January 2013

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