If you’re going to put out a fiddle CD, how can you go wrong leading with the traditional Buffalo Gals? The song is so universally familiar that it automatically gets people in the mood for what is to follow.
In the case of JJ Guy’s latest effort, entitled simply Fiddler, what follows is a 13-song CD of old-fashioned fiddle music.
While the style is old, much of the music is new. A number of the pieces here -- it is an all instrumental album -- were written by Guy. Credit Guy with the ability to write material that fits in perfectly with traditional numbers, or those such as Dad’s Favorite Jig by the great Don Messer.
Cuts such as Waltz for Larry Ross, Chicken in the Hay, and Slow Rain mesh perfectly stylistically.
Of course a fiddle CD is ultimately measured by the performer’s skill with the bow. Well Guy hits the bull's eye here. He can turn the tempo down, as is the case with Slow Rain, or fire up the engines and burn off some fast-paced fiddle with seemingly equal ease.
Fiddler follows Guy 2007 release Cadillac, and is every bit the equal of the earlier effort. That says a lot since Cadillac pulled an 8-out-of-10 when reviewed here.
Guy has a practiced, relaxed style, not surprising given the fact this Saskatchewan-born fiddler has been playing across Western Canada for years, including a stint with the well-known Midnight Ramblers.
This is a must for lovers of old time fiddle. Check it out at www.jjguy.ca
— CALVIN DANIELS
-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Oct. 14, 2009 - Yorkton, SK. Canada