Fiddler Magazine Review

by Brendan Taafe

Liz Carroll is, without quibble, one of the finest living fiddlers and most highly regarded composers of original tunes in the Irish tradition. In recent years, she has performed for President Obama and been nominated for a Grammy, among other honors. Here, at last, is a collection of her original compositions, 185 in all—some 50 of which haven’t been recorded. ‘Treasure trove’ is a phrase that comes to mind, as is ‘overdue’. For remedying that last, kudos go to Gregg Burnett and the Shamrock Traditional Irish Music Society. They offered Liz the support and encouragement she needed to complete the project.

The production of the book is lovely—it feels good in your hand, and the tunes are clearly laid out and easy to read. As a nice touch, there are a few examples of Liz’s handwritten original manuscripts so you can get some sense of her composing process. Throughout, in the introductory notes and the ‘tune tales’ at the end, Liz’s genial spirit shines through. A gem of a book.

This excerpt from the introduction gives you a good sense of what to expect:

"For those who already play Irish music, you know why there are no ornaments, bowings, tempo indicators and chords in this book. For those who haven’t played Irish music before—there are no ornaments, bowings, tempo indicators or chords for the tunes in this book.

The reason is that while these tunes are written down here, Irish music is largely an aural tradition. Players will ornament a tune different from one pass to the next (or not). Bowing can vary so much from player to player, and all of it can sound good, that you won’t want to be tied down to an instructed bowing—just as flute players won’t want to be told where to take a breath. You’ll want to imitate good playing and eventually find your own comfortable chug."

Recommended for any fan of Liz’s - for anybody - who wants some new, meaty tunes to sink their teeth into. Which should cover most of us.

Collected - 2nd Printing!

get your copy now!
, Original Irish Tunes - the 2nd Printing!

Liz's first book of compositions is for sale now, and only through this web site. As one of Irish music's most prolific composers, Collected is the first compilation of Liz's life work, 185 tunes that draw as their inspiration Liz's heritage and the influence of being a first generation Irish-American.

Click here for Collected

"First of all, I'm very very honored to be asked to do this cause I'm a huge fan and have always adored Liz's music.  She never fails to constantly come up with the most gorgeous and brilliant melodies that seem to flow out of her completely effortlessly.  I also really love the way that she will change an old traditional tune with great sensitivity to bring it that unique and inimitable Liz Carroll style.  I have no doubt that Liz's beautiful new tunes AND her fresh versions of old ones will far outlive us all into the future generations of Irish Music."
Sharon Shannon

"Let the truth be known: My friend Liz Carroll is a musical genius.  A genius and a friend indeed."
Billy McComiskey

"I am so excited and thrilled about this book of tunes. It is a treasure chest full of jewels. Liz's tunes are bursting with personality. The melodies are unique and full of character. Every tune is a joy to play and listen to because each is so supremely crafted. For Liz's legions of fans and musicians around the world, this book will become a bible. It will for me." 
Winifred Horan