From the primary notes of Doug Riley’s first CD “Nostalgia Café” this author was reminded of the heady days of the Nineties when he found Celtic music and wound up spending many Wednesday evenings in Burlington studying the jigs and reels performed at Irish classes across the metropolis, normally held on the Radio Bean Café.
Burlington was a magnet for Irish music again then, and continues right now though the COVID-19 pandemic has put a maintain on classes for now. Among the many early gamers, a frequent staple on guitar and fiddle, was Riley — an legal professional by day and multi-instrumentalist when the music began.
So it’s with this aptly titled CD that he expresses his imaginative and prescient of the music he’s performed for over 30 years.
“I play music of the Celtic lands, Eire, Scotland, Wales, Brittany, Nova Scotia and a few from England,” says Riley. “I usually wrap the normal songs and tunes in fashionable, rock and pop-seasoned preparations. I attempt to honor the good up to date ‘Celtic fusion’ traditions of Fairport Conference, the Bothy Band and even the Byrds, amongst many others. I get great assist from some proficient and adventurous musical mates.”
Riley selected the 9 tracks for his first solo album with an ear to fashionable tunes performed on the classes and songs that almost all Celtic/Irish followers can be accustomed to. Within the 33 minutes of music we get to listen to such track staples as “O, Are Ye Sleepin’ Maggie?” “Jack Haggerty” and “Blow the Candles Out.” The instrumentals embody the highly regarded “Martin Wynne’s,” “Rodney’s Glory,” “Oot Pik” and the O’Carolan melody “Loftus Jones.”
All through this program, Riley sings, fiddles, performs guitar and cittern, which is a 10-string long-neck mandolin-type instrument.
Riley, a reliable participant, acts as band chief giving beneficiant components to his backing musicians, a number of of whom peopled the classes in Burlington throughout the Nineties and into the 2000s. He selected his musicians nicely with Mitch Barron on bass, Rick Kovacs on fiddle, Riczi Kovacs on drums, Angie Oliver, vocals; Maura Morse, harp; Mike Egan, whistles; Marty Morrissey, concertina; Janet Wilson, violin/viola; Invoice Dexter, harmonica; and Becca Hanley, vocals.
Morrissey was a foundational member of the classes and the Highland Weavers together with Robert Resnick. Mike Egan has been taking part in whistles so long as anybody can keep in mind.
“I don’t faux to be an genuine Celtic folks instrumentalist,” says Riley. “Numerous sensible fiddlers, accordionists, harpers, flute gamers and others are already on document and taking part in reside for all of us to admire and revel in. As an alternative, I hope to deliver the textures and devices of different kinds to this already magical music. As an Irish-American, this appears to me to be the genuine factor to do. I embody facets of rock or reggae, or blues, or bluegrass, touches right here and there in my music … even within the good outdated pub requirements.”
Collectively together with his accompanying musicians, Riley has put collectively a program that certainly brings again the nostalgia of a time not so way back when Irish music was the folks music to play. The album, whereas not recorded reside in a pub like Radio Bean, offers one the sensation that they’ve discovered a cushty place to hang around for half an hour with a glass of Guinness in hand.