John McCusker
Yella Hoose
Temple (

cd cover Yella Hoose is a lovely album by fiddle player John McCusker featuring ten instrumentals and one vocal by Kate Rusby. This is a traditionally based recording, with McCusker's fiddle supported by an ensemble of guitar, diatonic accordion, and bass with guests on whistles, cello, and mandolin. The arrangements are spare, giving the recording a spacious, open feel, and the fidelity is outstanding.

"Boys of the Puddle"
"Boys of the Puddle" is a lively, danceable jig written by McCusker, and combined with the traditional "The Scullion's Wife." McCusker's instrumentals fit together seamlessly with the several traditional pieces included on Yellow Hoose. "Blue Bonnets Over The Border/Khazi" begins as a charming waltz that flows into a rolling stride of fiddle and diatonic accordion. On "Al's Big Day" McCusker plays piano and is joined by Jackie Wells on cello, evoking a tranquil, almost classical air. The lone vocal offering is Kate Rusby's rendition of "Night Visiting Song," with beautiful accompaniment by Malcolm Stitt on guitar and McCusker on whistles.

This is a relaxed album of deftly played traditional Celtic music. Even all-star guests like Tim O'Brien only serve to contribute to the whole of this project. Yella Hoose is a gratifying addition to McCusker's catalog. - Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.

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Audio: "Boys of the Puddle"
Written by John McCusker (c) 2000 Temple Music, Scotland

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