In My Hands
Natalie MacMasterROUN7025 Rounder Records
One Camp St
Cambridge, Ma 02140
A review written for Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
In My Hands blends traditional Cape Breton fiddle with contemporary sounds of percussion, organ and electric guitar to produce an album that is interesting and quite enjoyable. Natalie is joined on the album by some notable guest artists: Mark O'Connor is a fiddling giant in his own right and shares the spotlight on the tune Olympic Reel. Alison Krauss lends her beautiful voice in a lament called Get Me Through December. Guitarist Jesse Cook plays flamenco guitar on the track called Flamenco Fling, which also brings in trumpet and horn arrangements. Sharon Shannon plays accordion on several of the jigs and reels included in the mix.
There are thirty two instrumentals and two vocals on this album in fourteen tracks. One set of jigs (Mom's Jig) even incudes Natalie's step dancing in the accompaniment - shades of John Hartford! There are enough jigs and reels to satisfy the Cape Breton fiddle connoisseurs, yet enough contemporary arrangements to keep the album interesting enough to appeal to a wider audience. It is a wonder that such diversity could all hold together, but MacMaster's fiddle keeps it working. Natalie is a true master of the Cape Breton fiddle.
Edited by: Jonathan Colcord