John McCusker: Hello, Goodbye

Charming is the word for this solo album from fiddle player McCusker: he’s celebrating 25 years as a professional musician but as he joined the Battlefield Band when he was still a nipper (well 17) he’s still a comparative stripling. As well as the Battlefield Band, he’s played and produced with Kate Rusby and Heidi Talbot (aka Mrs McCusker), and toured with Mark Knopfler. This was written on tour with  Mr K.

There’s a nice feel about this album — it reminded us of sitting in a pub in Shetland listening to local musicians play — probably because he recorded it at home in Scotland, accompanied by his friends and family. It’s dominated by his fiddle and apart from a bit of vocalisation in the opening minute from Talbot, it’s instrumental. There’s lots of acoustic guitar and some evocative uilleann pipe on Tune For Nana.

As with Altan the other week, it sounds traditional in a genuine way (probably because it is) with all cliché banned. Fans of Celtic music, folk in general and nice tunes will play this a lot.


About jerobear

Weekly newspaper editor in Cheshire, England. I blog my editorials and the CDs I write about. I play drums, drink coffee, play music, meditate. I hate filling in forms.

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