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World Music CD Reviews Celtic & Irish

CELTIC FIDDLE FESTIVAL

By James Rodgers
Published September 27, 2005

Play On... 
Green Linnet

With the passing of Johnny Cunningham in December 2003 at the age of 46, a large hole was left in contemporary Celtic music. But the biggest void was left in the trio he formed with Kevin Burke and Christian Lemaitre. Though the space will never be completely filled, the band seems to have found the answer to how to go on with the addition of La Bottine Sourante’s Andre Brunet. This young French-Canadian fiddle prodigy brings an energy and fire to the music and group. The new record, dedicated to Cunningham, starts off with a rollicking trio of tunes and then dances along nicely from there. Though gone, Cunningham is still all over this release. From his beautifully lilting composition “Leaving Brittany” to the set of tunes he loved to play that closes the recording, his influence is still strong. Culled from three shows in Portland, Oregon, the music sounds clear and crisp, unusual for a live recording. All three fiddles still inspire and Ged Foley’s fine guitar work supports nicely. Somewhere, Johnny’s playing right along.