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CWazyTom
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« on: December 21, 2018, 09:03:42 PM »

The Fitzgeralds

The Fitzgeralds are a musical group of siblings from Canada. Here's a little about the group:
http://www.thefitzgeralds.net/about

I've seen them twice live, both times with Nathan Carter, with whom Chloë was performing.

I got some of their work from the merch table before the show:

Albums:

   The Fitzgeralds (2016)
   Fiddle Beatz (2018)

DVDs:

   Everything Fitz (2013)


The Fitzgeralds (CD):

This first album reminded me quite a bit of Mairead Nesbitt's "Raining Up." It's an album of fiddle songs (with a few tracks featuring vocals as well). The songs have Irish influcence and a strong jazzy flavor to them.

Tracks:
1. Gould
2. Falun Fine*
3. Questions
4. Session*
5. My Dall*
6. Mary Ellen Carter*
7. The Dwyers
8. Danny Boy*
9. Step Dance
10. Red Rocket
11. Parting Glass

Falun Fine is a fun song to listen to, even if it isn't the catchiest melody. It reminded me most of The Butterfly (Mairead Nesbitt).

Session is fun too and it reminded me, not surprisingly, of some tracks on Mairead Nesbitt's Devil's Bit Sessions album. It has a mix of Irish and Canadian east coast folk music influences.

My Dall is a mixture of a sweeping melody and beat skips along engagingly. It has some pleasant violin harmonies, and an inspired piano accompaniment. The melody is totally different from Tara's Tunes, but that's what this song reminded me of when I listened to it. It's possibly my favourite track on the album. I really liked this one!

Mary Ellen Carter is a vocal song about rising a shipwreck from the bottom of the sea. The singing won't blow you away, but for a folk a song, the vocals are what they need to be. It's got a good pace and a nice melody. Some of the lyrics manage to really get to the heart. I liked it!

This arrangement of Danny Boy is a violin harmony. It's essentially the same one they played during Nathan Carter's show in St. Catherines, Ontario this year. The first half is really good and I'd say that's my favourite non-Celtic-Woman version of Danny Boy. It even gives Celtic Woman a run for its money. The second half of the song tries to be different. It abandons the gorgeous sweeping flow of the first half of the song in favor of stringing plucking accompaniment of a single violin that carries a variation of the melody. The song ends with an off-harmony arrangement that reminded me of old movie scores from the 30s-50s. Overall, I like the song, but for me, there was a definite difference in enjoyment between the two halves.

The Celtic Woman arrangement of The Parting Glass from Believe and Emerald is probably still my favorite song. There's no other verison of the song that could possibly compete with that and the recording on this album is no exception.

Overall, I enjoyed the album. I'd recommend listening to the ones I noted with an asterisk in the track list if you.

If you use open Spotify on a laptop or desktop computer, here's the link. You need a Spotify account but it's free:
https://open.spotify.com/album/0fwbIb8oeApg58RDdvGNEc



Fiddle Beatz:

While parts of this album reminded me of Raining Up, this one had more of a new age sound than it did an Irish feel. Nothing against the album or performers, but this one didn't overlap as much with my tastes as the first one did.

Tracks:
1. Gould
2. Shadow
3. Fiddle-beaTZ
4. Questions
5. Leave
6. Vague Words
7. Ready
8. Tofino
9. Lakehouse
10. Mem



Everything Fitz (DVD):

If you're going to get one of the three of the ones I write about today, I'd recommend the DVD. This vastly exceeded my expectations. The production value isn't super high. It's basically a performance on a plain stage at a small venue with basic lighting. The pickup of the dad's mike wasn't great, but he does have some funny jokes if you can hear them. The audio for instruments musicians is great though. The insanely talented performers in this family are the focus of the DVD, as they should be.

They all play multiple instruments, including fiddle, piano, mandolin, guitar, and even the bodharn. They're extremely good percussive step-dancers too (for an idea of what percussive step-dancing is like, think Lord of the Dance). They can fiddle and step-dance at an astonishing pace and do both at the same time! What Mairead Nesbitt or Lindsey Stirling do on stage is incredible but this might be even more impressive.

They also have some crazy violin tricks that I've never even imagined must less seen before, like:
- One person playing 3-part harmony (3 notes at a time) on a single violin
- One person playing two violins at once
- Playing opposite-handed
- Playing with the violin upside down and between their legs
- And my favorite, playing each others violins (one hand playing their own while they move the bow across the person's violin that's next to them).

This had plenty of fun songs and a lot of jaw-dropping moments.

I'm not going to say this is a "must-buy" DVD because there's so many excellent Celtic Woman related DVDs to get first. But there are probably clips of them doing some of this stuff on YouTube and that would definitely be worth a look.

I hope you enjoy!
« Last Edit: December 21, 2018, 09:14:34 PM by CWazyTom » Logged
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VegasDavid
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« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2018, 12:53:47 PM »

Thanks for sharing, Tom!

It looks like Fiddle Beatz is a solo project of Kerry Fitzgerald.  Also, she is selling sheet music for $5.

I'd actually categorize many of the Fiddle Beatz songs as world + EDM.  I think the title track and Ready would work well at a house party.  They make me think of a laid back version of Lindsey Stirling (who you do like!).

That DVD sounds wild!
« Last Edit: December 23, 2018, 01:22:19 PM by VegasDavid » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2018, 09:16:10 PM »

After searching multiple times, I'm not sure how to order the "Everything Fitz" DVD online.  Do you have any idea, or did you just grab the DVD at a merch table?
« Last Edit: December 24, 2018, 12:18:44 AM by VegasDavid » Logged
CWazyTom
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« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2018, 10:14:12 AM »

After searching multiple times, I'm not sure how to order the "Everything Fitz" DVD online.  Do you have any idea, or did you just grab the DVD at a merch table?

Yeah, I got it at the merch table at the show.

It seems odd that it's not available anywhere online, but I guess it's possible. I haven't looked.
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« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2018, 01:34:07 PM »

Here's a sort of sizzle reel for the DVD. It shows you at least a few of their tricks, though I will say that the sizzle reel doesn't give you a true sense of how impressive it was to watch the whole thing.

https://youtu.be/66SFiuslapY
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« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2018, 12:19:44 AM »

Thanks, Tom!  That was pretty neat.
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« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2019, 10:16:23 PM »

The Fitzgeralds just announced a bunch of new tour dates in the U.S.: https://www.thefitzgeralds.net/tour
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