Print this Page

World Music CD Reviews Celtic & Irish

Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill

By Tad Hendrickson
Published June 19, 2008

Welcome Here Again
Green Linnet

There’s a strong truth to the fact that traditional folk styles should lend themselves to being played by musicians of limited abilities. Celtic music certainly fits the bill, but Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill work together on an entirely different level—one where the duo elevates the music to transcendent heights.

A multi-award winning fiddler of the highest order, Hayes takes the lead with a dazzling set of chops tempered by a keen sense of drama and timing that lends rich layers of emotion to the slower tunes. The yang to Hayes’s yin, Cahill typically stays at home, subtly plucking out the rhythm and basic melody on his guitar or mandolin. On their first album since 1999’s Live In Seattle, the two masters are at their best when they work through the slower material, offering magical streams of expression that are more like conversation than music performance.