The McCarrel Sisters,
Wide Awake & Dreaming
(self-produced, 2003)

One of the bright new stars out of Ontario's Celtic music scene is the McCarrel Sisters, a trio of young girls from Bruce County who combine their own Gaelic roots with touches of the East Coast Celtic music style.

On Wide Awake & Dreaming, their first recording, the McCarrels put a bright, fresh veneer on the tradition. Their playing is lively and fun, certainly offering plenty of hope for the next generation of Celtic music.

The sisters are Meagan, who leads the pack on fiddle, Lisa on guitar and Michelle on keyboards. Joining them in the studio are Allie Bennett on bass and Brian Talbot on percussion.

Tracks include traditional tunes like "Tamlynn," "Star of Munster," "The Mourne Mountains," "MacKinnon's March," "Willie Coleman's," "King of the Fairies," "Braes of Mar" and "Sleepy Maggie," plus Jay Unger's "Ashokan Farewell," "Jerry Holland's "Fiddle on Fire," "Niel Gow's Lament for the Death of His Second Wife" and more. Never fear that these are just rote recitations of traditional music; the sisters definitely put their own spin on things.

Considering that this is the McCarrels' first recording, I think we can expect great things from them in the future. I can't wait to see what they're going to do next year!

- Rambles
written by Tom Knapp
published 22 November 2003

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