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JOHN DOHERTY - "Taisce The Celebrated Recordings" - Gael-Linn CEFCD072
The late John Doherty was one of the greatest traditional musicians ever to record, and fortunately he was recorded extensively with examples of his work from the 1950s to just before his death in 1980 being issued commercially on many different labels. Sadly some are no longer available making this re-issue all the more welcome. These justly celebrated recordings were originally made in 1974 and subsequently issued by Gael-Linn on a double LP in 1978.

Although there is one spoken track and one song, this is of course a CD of Donegal fiddle music, as exemplified by the drive and speed of the bow work and the sparse but intricate and dexterous ornamentation. The music on this CD is unmistakably that of Donegal but John Doherty's repertoire shows all the signs of cross fertilization from other areas in Ireland and Scotland. He was a true traditional musician not only keeping alive a vast story of local lore and music, but able to assimilate a good tune, no matter where it originated, and with great skill and understanding play it in his own incomparable way.

John Doherty was, and probably still is, the best known of the legendary Donegal fiddle players and this is an important release not only because it contains many of his finest recordings but is also one of the best examples of a true Irish regional style you are likely to hear. Tremendous Stuff.

Danny Saunders

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This album was reviewed in Issue 22 of The Living Tradition magazine.