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Doug Cameron: Celtic Crossroads: The Uncharted Path

A landmark release takes violinist Doug Cameron to a musical crossroads, melding modern and traditional elements for a truly seamless feel. Celtic Crossroads: The Uncharted Path is a passionately played, heartfelt collection, built around the pulsing, life-affirming beats of the bodhran and other Celtic elements. Several medleys of traditional Irish pieces (including “The Jig Set” and “Lord of the Dance Medley”) set and reestablish a reverent tone, with warmth and magic in their traditional arrangements (not to mention some stretching, brave and strenuous workouts for Cameron’s violin). In between, Cameron melts the boundaries between traditional and contemporary, lightly shifting the scales from track to track. For example: his hypnotic, gently modernist take on Loreena McKennitt’s “Mummer’s Dance” spices its delicate Celtic center with swirling keyboards, while a warm “Book of Days” takes Enya’s new-age electronics and renders them organic, sweeping through the melody with sweet violin, brisk mandolin and lithe piping. The effect is almost as if this version was the original. The eloquent “John Jr.” is another highlight, with Cameron’s crying violin and wailing Irish pipes backed by a modern keyboard haze, for a disarming, reflective effect. Cameron keeps this balance throughout, bravely taking on the traditional, and integrating modern shades where they make the most sense. The result is a fully realized, timeless collection.

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