Dónal McCague, a young Irish fiddler from Co. Monaghan, recently released his debut album “Bits’n’Pieces”
I was in touch with Dónal recently, and he was kind enough to send me a CD and allow me to share a couple of the tracks from it with you. Well I’ve listened to it all the way through 3 times now, and two tunes that keep jumping out at me are the first and fifth tunes on the album- “Maids of Mount Kisco” and “The Holly Reel”.
Those are the tracks I’ve chosen to offer for free download. So take a listen and let us know what you think. And, don’t hesitate to check out the full album which you can find on Dónal’s website bitsnpieces2011.com
Review of “Bits ‘N’ Pieces” by Tony Lawless of TradConnect.com
“Well we all knew this album was on the way from TradConnect member Dónal McCague. I first heard a soundbite on Twitter and thought we have to get him onto TradConnect.
So impressed am I by this debut album that I had to go and play some of my old albums by McGann/Brady, MacGabhann, Peoples, Rooney, Carty and others to make sure that my ears were not deceiving me. Was it actually that good? Well the answer is yes. From start to finish this is an album that will remain for a long time as a favourite and in Dónal, we have a new star that will rival the above great names and may actually surpass them. Dónal stays true to the tradition with a sound and style that brings me back to those great albums by McGann. Like McGann the use of the musical pause is refreashing to hear again. Oisín MacDiarmada capture’s the essence of the album very well on the album notes where he states that “Dónal succeeds in bringing his infleunces together in combination with his own musical imagination. On this recording, Dónal shows himself master of capturing in his playing a wide variety of emotion”
Tunes such as The Connaughtman’s Rambles and The Maid Behind The Bar are included and show Dónal’s respect for the tradition. They are re-imagined and presented with a freshness that show what can be achieved in the hands of a player with Dónal’s talent. The accompanying artists are Michael McCague on guitar, Brian McGrath on piano and Johnny “Ringo” McDonagh on bodhrán who provide a perfect background and never overpower the music.
I am sure that this is the start of a wonderful journey for Dónal. For anyone interested in Irish music and traditional fiddling in particular, I would say do not let this album pass you by.”
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