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World Music CD Reviews Celtic & Irish

FIDDLERS’ BID

By James Rodgers
Published August 24, 2005

Naked And Bare
Greentrax

Naked And Bare may seem like a repetitious title, and so might the idea of a band fronted by four fiddlers, supported by piano, guitar and bass, but Fiddlers’ Bid shows that sometimes a little repetition is a good thing. The four-pronged attack of fiddlers Andrew Gifford, Kevin Henderson, Maurice Henderson and Chris Stout provides a full, high-energy push to the 10 instrumentals, blending traditionals and originals together effortlessly. The fiddlers weave, interact and contrast nicely, and their abilities in playing both loud and soft keep the disc from becoming monotonous or overwhelming. The other thing that keeps the songs fresh is the cunning support of Catriona McKay on piano and Scottish harp, Fionan De Barra on guitar and Jonathan Ritch on bass guitar. Their mix of accompaniment and percussion help these songs from being one-dimensional or shallow. This is only their fourth recording in 14 years, with most of the time spent traveling and performing live. While this does little to build their catalog, the band’s constant touring pays off in their tight musicianship. Beware: Fiddlers’ Bid is infectious and habit-forming.