, July 2015

Gillian Head "Spirit" 
Own label, 2014

Starting as a stepdancer, Gillian Head took up the fiddle at the age of 9, then studying for years under the direction of the late master fiddler Jerry Holland. Eventually she has released her debut album, "Spirit". Ah, the title says it so well. Gillian has absorped the roots music of her native Cape Breton Island, which itself sprung up from traditional Scottish and Irish music. She has paid close attention to the styles of contemporary fiddlers to devise a particular style of her own. Her fiddling is powerful and passionate; her backing consists of Jason Roach on piano, David MacIsaac on guitar, Ryan J. MacNeil on whistle and Steven Wilton on drums. "Spirit" features a mix of both old and new songs, from both the old and the new world: A Cape Breton tune, a Scottish tune, and an Irish Tune walk into a bar ... Canadian's John Morris Rankin and Jerry Holland rub shoulders with contemporary Irish-American fidddler/composer Liz Carroll and Scottish fiddle patriarchs William Marshall and Scott Skinner. Jerry Holland tunes are prominantly featured on this disc, as is Rannie MacLellan's tribute to Jerry's VW Truck. 
© Walkin' T:-)M

-Tom Keller

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