Amarillis,
Waltzing in the Trees
(self-produced, 1999)

If you like dance music you will love this. Three Quebecois ladies get together. They play a variety of instruments from fiddle to harpsichord and concertina. They love music and dance. They enjoy a wide variety of influences. They bring you a mixture of waltzes, reels, contras and jigs, among other things, from all areas of the world.

They profess to love to play for dancers so perhaps this is not the CD to sit and listen to. Maybe you should grab a partner, push back the dresser and let your feet and heart do the listening.

From the introduction on track 1 you will be hypnotised by this music. Some of the tunes will be familiar. Some will be tugging at your memory with fragments recalled, and others will be new discoveries.

The piano piece "Enrichez Vous" is a lovely tune that I was unfamiliar with but now I play over and over -- I love its move into fiddle. It tantalises me with fragments that sound so familiar. To me it sounds at times like the old Irish song "Mother Mo Chroi" -- if anyone knows for sure, please let me know.

I was particularly intrigued by "St Anne's Waltz" and found it coupled the more familiar reel of the same name. Yes, it works as a waltz, too. You can even revert to times long past with a madrigal called "Amarillis" before being jerked into some modern jigs.

Folk fans out there listening to "Green Willow" will recognise the old favourite from Steeleye Span, "All Around My Hat." "Miss Thompson's" is a contra dance that reminds me of Scottish country-dance music as played by Jimmy Shand way back when.

The album bows out with a beautiful tune of the title, which would send those of you who danced through this CD happily off to bed or the bar for a relaxing drink.

Here is an eclectic collection of tunes that gel very well together to provide a ready made cil or country dance set for your next party or just to enliven your spirits after a hard days work.

- Rambles
written by Nicky Rossiter
published 6 April 2003