Nova Scotian fiddler Jerry Holland’s memory is honored with the entirety of this second album by this dual fiddle quartet. With ties to Ireland, Scotland, Cape Breton and Québéc, The Angel’s Share reflects a year well spent went upon the creation of these fifteen tracks. Original songs and what the band dubs “rediscovered classics” are included. Pianist Troy MacGillivray and accordionist Priscilla Skrade lend their talents for special guest appearances.
Four is more than enough, when it’s these four, as each plays an orchestral range of multiple instruments. Ed Paloucek and Kaitlin Hahn are a savory fiddle duo, as showcased on “Just Duet”. The complimentary styles of the two meld with a hearty chemistry that grounds the foundations for this well-paced, eclectically Celtic CD. “Black Eyed Gypsy” is where lead vocalist Barry Houlehen shines.
A live version of “Rosin the Bow”, recorded at Paddy’s Pub in Milwaukee, became an impromptu tribute with Holland’s sudden passing. Sung by percussionist John Karr, who musters bouzouki and bodhran throughout the song selection. “Rosin” is a poignant 2 moments, 10 seconds. The emotions and energy run high, equal to the range of talent this contemporary Trad four have poured into this inspiring tribute. With so much beauty and heart displayed through the entirety of this work, I have no doubt the angels are listening.
Dionne Charlet is a freelance writer based in Greater New Orleans. She is a contributing writer for Where Y’at Magazine and reviews music for Marc Gunn’s Celtic MP3s Music Magazine. Dionne runs the Cast Aways Open Theatre Troupe and performs with her fellow Cast Aways volunteers at Ren faires, sci-fi cons, charity venues and festivals throughout the Gulf Coast and beyond. Mrs. Charlet also works as an Outreach Coordinator for the Humane Society of Louisiana. You can contact Dionne at SHIATARA@AOL.com.