‘String on String’ by Amy McAllister - understands the wealth of tradition and innovation(June 28, 2017)
To my ears, there’s something deeply elemental to harp music ... coming from deep origins, evoking ancient mysteries. Opening the doors of ancestry with strong echoes of heritage. Craft this lineage with the ability to source inspiration from tradition, mould fresh ideas and arrangements, and you have Amy McAllister. Then take time to compile a collection of traditional and original songs and tunes and you have ‘String on String’.
This is an album that both understands the wealth of tradition and reveals a talent for innovation. There’s a deep respect for origins, pedigree and roots, equally there’s a desire to craft inventive musical inclines. And one more point to note, Amy’s vivid voice is purely addictive, hear once, you want more.
‘String on String’ delivers narratives like ‘Over The Mountains’, ‘Matt Hyland’ and ‘P for Paddy’, deeply moving songs like Amy’s ‘Holy Holy’ and in collaboration with Camille Champarnaud, ‘Mi Amor’ and ‘It’s been a year’, plus a lovely take on ‘Bonnie Blue Eyed Nancy’. There’s also a selection of perfectly delightful tunes: ‘Jigs’, a beautiful rendition of ‘O’Carolan’s Concerto’ and Catriona McKay’s ‘The Swan LK243’.
There’s so much depth to this album it’s entirely easy to lose yourself in its magical touch. Decide to do so and you will be pleased you did.
‘String on String’ is brought to life by Amy McAllister (voice, harp) with Eoghan Scott (guitar) Camille Chaparnaud (mandolin, fiddle, double bass, keys, guitar, bouzouki, bodhran, backing vocals) and Jos Kelly (piano).
Review: Tim Carroll