CHRIS HAIGH CD "OFF THE WALL"
"highly appealing..."-Fiddle on Magazine
"virtuosity and showmanship..."- FRoots
After years of doing any number of band cd’s (Kremlinaires, Tziganarama, Klezmania etc) I’ve finally done a solo Chris Haigh album, which is released on 15th October.
You can listen to some tracks here:
HERE'S A REVIEW FROM FIDDLE ON MAGAZINE:
On this CD master multi-style fiddler Chris Haigh takes a highly appealing tour through jazzgrass, Texas Swing, Bluegrass, Irish, Scottish, Macedonian, Klezmer, Russian, Galician and Romanian fiddle music. Very much a tour in the circular sense I feel, because the centre ground of most of the CD is Chris's very tasty "swing violin" playing. If any purists should start muttering about "cultural tourism" I'd recommend a visit to Chris's website where individual pages show the depth of his knowledge of each fiddle style and the context from which it flows. If the Scottish track put me in mind of Willy Hunter, I'm still not about to question Chris's style! The star track for me was Mi Bon Siach, a Hebrew tune. It's a solo album, but with first class backing from a fine line-up of musicians. Altogether very enjoyable, and as a bonus for fiddle players, if you buy the cd Chris will let you have the dots for the non-copyright tunes. Even though there's an excellent page about English style fiddle on the website, Chris doesn't address this style on the website.I wonder why not!
Fiddle On Magazine, Winter/Spring 2009
AND HERE'S A REVIEW FROM THE ONLINE FOLKWORLD MAGAZINE:
Chris Haigh is the fiddler's fiddle player. His books "Fiddling around the World" and "The Fiddle Handbook" and his website www.fiddlingaround.co.uk are comprehensive sources on (almost) any fiddle style. While researching his latest book Chris, who recorded with his own klezmir bands and artists from James Galway to Alison Moyet, got the idea to record a solo album. "Off the Wall" features western swing and bluegrass, Irish and Scottish tunes, plus 7/8-time Balkan tunes and a Jewish wedding tune thrown in for good measure. There is also an interesting take on the classic "Over the Rainbow". He jokes that someone said: "it is such a beautiful tune ... and it should be treated with more respect." No bother, Chris has the deepest respect. However, he is no purist and adds a certain swing to the music.
And from FRoots
If Yorkshire-born Chris Haigh, a stalwart of the London fiddle scene, is new to you, Off the Wall is a good introduction to his versatile but distinctive playing. The Texas Swing and American Contest-Style fiddling closest to his heart get a decent airing here, and Chris, a player whose fingerboard doesn't have what some of us call a "dusty end", is up and down the neck like greased lightening. Tom and Jerry, the Roxanna Waltz and Howdy Forrester's Wild Fiddler's Rag , all ably backed by guitarist Andrew Tulloch, display his virtuosity and showmanship. Guitar maestro Richard Bolton and Bela Fleck-style banjo wizard Leon Hunt join him for an impressive Over The Rainbow, while his trio with Hunt's banjo and Brendan Power's harmonica makes for an atmospheric version of Ralph Stanley's bluegrass classic, the Clinch Mountain Backstep.
The stylistic direction of travel on the album is broadly west to east, with a fair dollop of rish tunes, several featuring the harmonica of Brendan Power, en route, and with brief stopovers in Scotlan and Greece/Macedonia before we get to Eastern Europe proper, another regional supplier of musical vehicles for Chris's exuberant fiddling. Again his collaborators contribute a lot to the sense of place, notably Alan Dunn's accordion and Stewart Curtis's clarinet. Chris's own humorously titled Firn Di Kapelye Tsu Essen (Accompanying the band to the Food) is a no doubt heartfelt prelude to a lively khusidl from Leon Schwartz. In so broad a repertoire a certain amount of stylistic spillage is perhaps unsurprising, and your inner purist, if you've got one, may quibble here and there-Irish, for example, is arguably not his strongest suit- but the entertainment factor is high throughout.
The CD is available from Chris;
-by paypal (below)