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Eileen Ivers & Immigrant Soul

14 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 25, 2003
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 25, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: 2003
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Koch Records
  • ASIN: B000087JC6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #166,739 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Gwen Orel on April 14, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I'm a Celtic music fan-- I run the Celtic Music Society of Montgomery, and I brought my group from Montgomery to Birmingham to see Eileen play this concert. I admit I hadn't done my homework and assumed "Immigrant Soul" would be about the Irish-immigration experience. And don't get me wrong: that experience is referred to and explored in this album, particularly with the spoken lament, "Parting of Friends," about the bittersweet parties held before an Irishman would sail away-- most likely forever. These were known as an American Wake. In concert, the piper Ivan Goff recites this, in a spotlight-- in the grand irish tradition of mixing song and recitation.
"fusion" is a word usually applied to cuisine-- Asian-French, Latin-Indian. And just as those dishes can amaze the palate with the shock of something both new and "just right," this album is surprisingly pleasing, refreshing and satisfying.
"Surprising" because Eileen Ivers has a fan base of traditional music-- Celtic music-- fans. But "tradition" has not meant ossified for quite a long time-- maybe not since Andy Irvine picked up a bouzouki and added Greek instrumentation to the Irish supergroup Planxty (Irvine has since gone on to explore Eastern European rhythms).
But the Caribbean and Latin rhythms are the surprising flavor in this fabulous concoction. It's a real fusion, not just a spice laid on top-- but the Irish ingredients are never missing, as such knockouts as "Paddy in Zululand" and the lilting "Go Lassie Go" (otherwise known as "Wild Mountain Thyme") make clear.
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Format: Audio CD
It is relatively safe to say that Eileen Ivers is best fiddler and virtuoso out performing and recording today. Her style crosses new boundaries as is clearly apparent on Eileen Ivers & Immigrant Soul, while still maintaining the distinct sound and energy woven into her works. Pure technical skill and places her on the same level of ability as the great classical musicians of our time, but perhaps more unique to her particular style is the passion and energy put forth. Ivers is a very outgoing and personable musician whose own personal energy can be molded into fast-paced reels or slower jigs.
This CD encompasses all of this same feeling with a few new twists. Tommy McDonnell who sang with the Blues Brothers, contributes powerful vocals on some of the tracks along with his harmonica. These songs are many times greater live, so though some songs may not pack as much punch as is expected, it is worth it to buy the CD to learn the lyrics and sing with them at a performance. Ivers imports many more styles and sounds to compliment the Celtic foundation, including Hispanic beats, African sounds, and vocals including a choir. Those looking for her purely violin focused works may be slightly disappointed, but there are several virtuoso tracks along with a very touching poem about the American Wake, which in itself is worth the cost. Those who do not know much about Eileen Ivers, I suggest purchasing her earlier works to greater appreciate and understand the wide spectrum of her talent and enchanting passion, though this isn't a bad first CD either.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful By o dubhthaigh VINE VOICE on February 26, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This CD is all over the place, but so is Ivers. Her eclectic tastes and her Irish roots have sent her out as a one woman Celtic Diaspora. I'd say this CD reflects New York more than anything else. Spanish Harlem, African immigrants and the hustle and bustle of the pace of NY infuse this record with loads of energy. The focus is as ADD as NYers are anyway, so to me it seems telling of its origins.
None the less, Ivers has the goods. She's mucked it up plenty with punk, tradition and the Vegas-y Riverdance, and still one is awed by her chops. This woman can cook with all the burners up. Riverdance was less what it was about in Ireland than a showcase for the formiddable dynamics of Eileen Ivers once it hit Radio City. Flatley was and has been clearly at a loss in looking to duplicate Ivers' relentless pursuit of reel magic with any sort of fiddlechic who kept her clothes on.
So in this endeavour, you have a clearly irrepresible Ivers gettin jiggy with a mix of NY, Irish and Spanish and African musicians. Like all of her work, it is absolutely great craic. The oddest thing about this, and I'm still not sure how I really feel about it, is that the lead singer sounds like Tom Jones. A lot. It's not unusual maybe for Ivers to pull this one off, and it rarely teeters into the smarmy tidepool Jones loved to wallow in, but it still comes off as odd and jarring.
I'm not sure I could tell you where Ivers is going with this. It isn't Afro-Celt. And perhaps that's how she likes it. Anyway, it is a great hoot to listen to.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Eileen Ivers is one of the most amazing fiddle players out there. I especially love the way that she is so open to a huge variety of musical styles. This album pulses with energy and joy, melding African rhythms and melodies with Celtic tunes.
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