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Right from the start, this is powerful music and no mistake. Fiddler and pianist Troy MacGillivray kicks off with one of his own tunes, and follows through with a medley of strathspeys and reels from the Scottish and Irish traditions, including high-energy classics Lady Anne Montgomery and The Bonnie Lass of Fisherrow, the driven bow backed up by great Cape Breton piano. With the introductions over, Troy sticks to piano for two tracks: more strathspeys and reels, and a set of Dan R MacDonald jigs played as they should be, with guitar accompaniment this time. The title tune Boomerang ends track three in excellent style. Back to the fiddle for a march, strathspey and reel set, ending with an electrifying change of pace into Steve Cooney's Gone Skidooing and Jerry Holland's Reel For Carl: young Troy has taste as well as talent.

And so this album unfolds. The Cape Breton repertoire is put through its paces on piano and fiddle by this lad from Antigonish in the very heart of Cape Breton, and he reveals rare brilliance in tunes which are unfamiliar to me: the Mountain Ranger hornpipe, the slow air Tweedside Lasses, Yester House Strathspey, and the aptly-named Traditional Jig to pick some of the highlights. There are several of Troy's compositions too, not out of place among tunes by William Marshall, Scott Skinner, Glenn Graham, and of course Dan R.

Boomerang is Troy MacGillivray's second abum. It shows a mature pair of hands, gifted enough to take old material and breathe new life into it, but confident enough to stay within their tradition. This CD is solid Cape Breton throughout, raw dance music built on traditional foundations and brought to life by a master: fiddle, piano and guitar played the old-fashioned way, no apologies, no pretentions. Take it or leave it. Either way, check out for free samples and more information.

Alex Monaghan