“A sizzling debut”
-the Irish Times”
“Here’s an album that immediately caught my attention upon a first listening. The Red Wellies, this instrumental group from North Carolina, has produced a powerful debut recording on duet fiddles , bouzouki
and pipes. Claudine ‘Beanie’ Odell, Duncan Wickel and Vincent Fogarty make music with a great sense of ease and clarity that could only be achieved as a result of playing together on frequent occasion. They play with a very rich tone, something that would appeal to many fiddle fans accross the globe. Their articulation is smooth; thier rhythm is defined and extremely solid throughout [...]Certainly, there is a palpable sense of enjoyment of the music throughout that makes one want to listen to this recording over and over again.”
-Edel Mc Laughlin, Irish Music Magazine
“From the mountainous Eastern USA, this trio of twin fiddles and bouzouki are a force to be reckoned with. Their debut recording is based on well-known Irish traditional material, but The Red Wellies make it their own. Not that they depart from received wisdom: there are no gimmicks, no fancy arrangements, just straight pure Irish spirit bottled in North Carolina. Beanie Odell, Duncan Wickel (who doubles on uilleann pipes) and Vincent Fogarty make a splendid job of grand old tunes: The Boys of Ballisodare, The 12 Pins, The Keys to the Convent, McGlinchey’s Hornpipe, all played as well as you might find in Galway, Cork or Dublin. There is a slight American accent at times, wonderful versions of Lad O’Beirne’s and The Chicago Reel for instance, and unusual settings of The Foxhunter’s Jig and The Blackbird. Pickiness aside, this is a brilliant CD of raw acoustic Irish music. [...] Odell and Wickel play tight resonant duets, producing a powerful melody line with or without guest Aaron Olwell on flute and concertina. The Sporting Pitchfork and The Slopes of Sliabh Luachra are magnificent jigs, followed by John McEvoy’s excellent Spotted Dog, and The Red Wellies keep the lift and drive throughout. Alice’s Reel is taken at a lovely slow pace which Frankie Gavin would surely approve of. Out in the Night is played almost as well as the classic Fisherstreet version. Lucky in Love forms the climax of a prodigious set of reels, and ends this album in rare style. The only time The Red Wellies really show their mountain roots (albeit with good dentistry) is on the glorious Creole-style hornpipe The Gypsy Princess which struts its stuff like a Southern belle. Highly recommended. [...] Give these folks a holler, and see if the echo sounds Irish to you!”
-Alex Monaghn, FolkWorld CD reviews
“****…Beanie and Duncan, who play twin fiddles all through the CD, have been playing together now for 13 years, and the result is a near-unison playing, with a few harmonic departures here and there, which is very reminiscent of the Kane sisters, but with its own original sound. Their tune list includes quite a few well-known melodies, but they always manage to find a fresh approach to them and keep the attention of the most tune-savvy listener [...] Lovely music.”
-Celtic Grooves Imports
“[the] rarest of recordings that combines superb musicianship, great feeling, and a rock solid sense of rhythm and style. Fiddlers Beanie Odell, Duncan Wickel, and bouzouki player Vincent Fogarty have made a wonderful debut CD that will be enjoyed by any fan of Irish music. They may not be known (yet) outside their mountain home in North Carolina, but their music is in a league with the very best of Irish traditional music.
-American Irish fiddle master Randal Bays
“I have been playing Irish music for over thirty years and I have heard many times the argument that only the Irish can play REAL Irish music. This point of view overlooks the fact that Irish music has been in America for over 200 years and the Uilleann pipes have been here for most likely 150 years.
It is also disappointing to me that American Irish music lovers themselves will give in to nationalism and flock to see and praise really bad Irish players just as long as they are actually from Ireland, while ignoring very good Irish musicians from America.
This brings me to the “Red Wellies” a trio of fine Irish Traditional musicians operating out of Asheville, North Carolina. Fiddler Claudine Odell (her friends and family call her “Beanie”) is a highly respected Irish fiddle teacher and has studied with some of the greats, such as Tommy Peoples and Martin Hayes. Her young nephew, Duncan Wickel, plays fiddle and pipes. I first met Duncan when he was thirteen and he was playing the pipes with great maturity even at his young age; his fiddle playing was just as good. Now that he is grown, he is a superb traditional musician. Accompanying the fiddlers is a very fine Irish-born bouzouki player — Vincent Fogarty. They are joined on some of the tunes by Aaron Olwell, a fantastic musician who plays flute and concertina.
Without going into a very detailed review let me say that this is the best fiddle duet CD since the Kane sisters’ “The Well Tempered Bow” and it is just as good: beautiful arrangements of great tunes, with fine technique and solid rhythm. In short, this is about as good as it gets.
My wife Cathy and I went to see them last night at their CD release party at Jack O’ The Woods in downtown Asheville. They were joined by Aaron Olwell, a fantastic musician who plays flute, concertina, fiddle…and who knows what else? The music was first class.”