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Catherine McEvoy & John McEvoy with Felix Dolan

Lagore 001

"l first got to know Catherine and John McEvoy in the late 1960s, when I was living in Birmingham, the city of their birth. At that time, John was very eager to learn to play the fiddle and his parents asked me to help him. I'm glad I did, because I quickly discovered that, along with his strong

interest in the music and his eagerness to learn, he had an abundance of musical talent, which enabled him to develop into the excellent fiddler he is today.

Catherine started off on the piano accordion and later changed over to the concert flute on which she became a virtuoso player.

This album captures Catherine and John at their brilliant best. It is a marvel of musical purity and charm, and never less than totally traditional.

Everything sounds just right. The tunes were chosen with great taste, suiting their instruments and playing styles perfectly. The music is played

with straightforward artistry, totally free of any form of pretence or gimmickry. Their heartfelt love of the music comes through in the polished,

tight duet playing showing a rare level of intuitive communication between them. They also display a talent for spontaneous, subtle, melodic variations, which few others can match. There is a great depth of tradition in their playing, and yet the music is fresh and exciting.

Their playing is further enhanced by the lovely sensitive piano accompaniment, which is never overdone, and never intrudes on the melody.

This is provided by Felix Dolan, one of the few outstanding masters of the art of accompaniment in Irish traditional music. This is traditional music at its best, living and thriving and flowing effortlessly and naturally, a masterpiece of duet playing". Paddy Ryan, Ballinagare, Co. Roscommon.

"The Kilmore Fancy is hugely enjoyable throughout and one which will merit repeated playing for years to come". Geoff Wallis.

Also available from Copperplate.

Catherine McEvoy: The Home Ruler

John McEvoy & friends: Irish Traditional Fiddle

Video

Audio

Dan Breen's:

Darby the Driver:

The Humours of Kilkenny:

John McEvoy's #2:

Track Listing

  1. Dan Breen's / The Flowers of Red Mill / The Pretty Girls of Mayo
  2. Darby the Driver / The Spotted Dog
  3. Within A Mile of Dublin / Patsy Touhy's
  4. Paddy Fahy's / Henchey's Delight
  5. The Collier's Reel / The Bush in Bloom
  6. The Mail I Ne'er Forgot / The Jug of Punch
  7. The Kilmore Fancy / Felix in Paris
  8. Gilbert Clancy's / The Boys of Dublin
  9. Man of the House / Gan Ainm
  10. The Humours of Kilkenny / Hunting the Hare
  11. The Highest Hill in Sligo / Mama's Pet
  12. The Rambles of Kitty / Ard an Bothair
  13. The Low Road to Glin / Ceol Na gCeartan
  14. John McEvoy's #1 + #2 / Kevin Henry's.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-UQuRKtXVU]

Press Reviews

East Bay Express Best of 2005

These days it seems that most great new Irish records are self-produced, and this offering from two Birmingham Irish siblings is a case in point. Catherine's flute and John's fiddle achieve the kind of seamless blend that only blood ties can provide on an exemplary program that's brilliantly delivered. Every embellishment and nuance has a reason, making this the best McEvoy record to date. Duck Baker

Folk World Web Site

If gentle dance music on flute and fiddle takes your fancy, you're a Kilmore person. Catherine and John, brother and sister of excellent Irish musical pedigree (Roscommon and Dublin via Birmingham), share a taste for grand old tunes well played. Pace is not the issue here: it's the lift and turn, the loop and twist of the melody, the magic which makes fingers tap and feet tread lightly over the floor. The McEvoy siblings have that magic in spades.

The Kilmore Fancy is a rolling spread of jigs, reels and hornpipes, as fresh and weloming as a Sligo landscape. Pleasant surprises appear like hidden springs, or over blind summits. The Bush in Bloom rises gloriously out of a set of reels. John's fiddle launches into a splendid solo setting of The Maid I Ne'er Forgot. Catherine's flute pours out a powerful version of The Highest Hill in Sligo, jumping for joy at the final measure. The slip jig Humours of Kilkenny twists and turns like a lakeside path, before settling down to the steady trot of Hunting the Hare.

This delightful album also includes a handful of John McEvoy's own compositions. He provides the two hornpipes on the title track, the meandering Kilmore Fancy and the punchier Felix in Paris, written for pianist Felix Dolan who deftly accompanies all tracks here. Two of the three reels on the final track are also John's, leading seamlessly into Kevin Henry's which ends a most enjoyable forty-five minutes of the pure drop.Alex Monaghan

The Living Tradition 9/10.05

In Ireland, sweet, gentle music is not dead, not yet, despite the best efforts of some there to replace it with a mad dash to the final note.

As proof of this enduring life, we have this warm, lively collection of tunes from Catherine McEvoy, one of Ireland's best-known flute players, and her brother, fiddler John McEvoy.

Catherine McEvoy was recognized long ago as a flute player "den scoth", Irish for "of the highest quality". She grew up surrounded by the enduring magic of the music of her parent's native County Roscommon, even though she was born across the Irish Sea in Birmingham.

Catherine returned home to Ireland in 1977, where she has since been a prominent member of the traditional music scene.

Some ten years ago, Catherine recorded a flute CD (reviewed in issue 20 of The Living Tradition) and like on that album, she has the good fortune to be accompanied on piano by New York-born Felix Dolan.

On this CD, she is joined by her brother, John. Together, their flute

and fiddle round out the sound beautifully. It's an especially fitting and smooth combination because the two siblings grew up playing music together.

Today, their music is every bit as sweet and gentle as the melodies that they first heard as children. It's a great credit to their talent, a

credit to all the Irish musicians that inspired them those many years ago, and a great gift to their listeners. Paul Carr

Voted #3 Album of 2004 by The Irish Echo columnist, Earle Hitchner.

http://www.irishecho.com/newspaper/story.cfm?id=15873 click on link for further details.

(3) THE KILMORE FANCY, by Catherine and John McEvoy with Felix Dolan (Cat. No. Lagore 001):

This is the pure drop in Connacht and especially North Roscommon-South Sligo instrumental music, known for its rhythmic flow with plenty of rolls and other ornamentation. There's a tantalizing bite at times to Catherine McEvoy's phrasing on flute, while her older brother John occasionally relies on quick stops in his fiddling to pique interest. The reels "Low Road to Glin/Ceol na gCeartan," the jigs "Paddy Fahy's/Henchey's Delight," and the reels "Man of the House/Gan Ainm" are full servings of the siblings' impeccable tone, phrasing, and pacing. Supplying a steady, supple piano rhythm is Felix Dolan, who also accompanied Catherine McEvoy on

"Traditional Flute Music in the Sligo-Roscommon Style," her splendid solo CD in 1996 ( also available from Copperplate).

"The Kilmore Fancy" is a tribute to the Irish traditional music diaspora: Catherine and John McEvoy were born in Birmingham, England, and Felix Dolan was born in the Bronx, N.Y. Earle Hitchner.

Folk World Review

If gentle dance music on flute and fiddle takes your fancy, you're a Kilmore person. Catherine and John, brother and sister of excellent Irish musical pedigree (Roscommon and Dublin via Birmingham), share a taste for grand old tunes well played. Pace is not the issue here: it's the lift and turn, the loop and twist of the melody, the magic which makes fingers tap and feet tread lightly over the floor. The McEvoy siblings have that magic in spades.

The Kilmore Fancy is a rolling spread of jigs, reels and hornpipes, as fresh and weloming as a Sligo landscape. Pleasant surprises appear like hidden springs, or over blind summits. The Bush in Bloom rises gloriously out of a set of reels. John's fiddle launches into a splendid solo setting of The Maid I Ne'er Forgot. Catherine's flute pours out a powerful version of The Highest Hill in Sligo, jumping for joy at the final measure. The slip jig Humours of Kilkenny twists and turns like a lakeside path, before settling down to the steady trot of Hunting the Hare.

This delightful album also includes a handful of John McEvoy's own compositions. He provides the two hornpipes on the title track, the meandering Kilmore Fancy and the punchier Felix in Paris, written for pianist Felix Dolan who deftly accompanies all tracks here. Two of the three reels on the final track are also John's, leading seamlessly into Kevin Henry's which ends a most enjoyable forty-five minutes of the pure drop. Alex Monaghan

www.irishmusicreview.com

One of Irish music's most loved albums has long been Catherine McEvoy's Traditional Flute Music in the Sligo-Roscommon Style which the Birmingham-born (England, not Alabama) flute player recorded with the US pianist Felix Dolan for Cló Iar-Chonnachta back in 1996. That album cemented Catherine's reputation as one of Ireland's foremost musicians, but her recording output remains sparse.

The Kilmore Fancy is hugely enjoyable throughout and one which will merit repeated playing for years to come. Geoff Wallis.

Price: £13.99

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