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JERRY HOLLAND "The Fiddlesticks Collection" Green Linnet GLCD1156

Any album which features the terrific piano playing talents of Hilda Chiasson, John Morris Rankin and Allan Dewar gets the thumbs up from me. The spirited honky tonk playing these three produce provides the perfect foil for the exuberant fiddle of Jerry Holland. If you could tap the energy in this recording, Nuclear Fusion would be redundant. Cape Breton fiddlers generally go flat out but Jerry goes hell for leather and the piano players mentioned give as good as they get. The result is a stampede of tunes which bounce along like a kangaroo in heat.

"Fiddlesticks" is a compilation of Jerry's albums released between 1982 and 1992 plus five previously unreleased tracks. The tracks all illustrate Jerry's dynamic fiddle style and a number of them feature his own tunes, many of which are now being assimilated into the Cape Breton canon. Dave MacIssac puts in some solid work on the guitar on most of the tracks but the show is really stolen by the feud between the fiddle and the piano. Long may the battle continue.

In essence a CD packed full of searing fiddle and piano playing which will result in the wearing out of much shoe leather and carpet fibre.

Chris MacKenzie

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This album was reviewed in Issue 18 of The Living Tradition magazine.