Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill, The Lonesome Touch

Colin Irwin

By Colin Irwin

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
A beautiful, hypnotic album of instrumental music.

It may seem odd to include a gentle album by one of the greatest fiddle players to come out of County Clare, especially when he's accompanied only by acoustic guitar. Yet within the spare purity of Hayes'playing there's an alluring enchantment that swirls beyond the confines of traditional music. The son of P.J. Hayes, one of Ireland's most beloved fiddlers, Martin left Clare to join the band Midnight Court, beginning a life of rock'n'roll mayhem in Chicago. An inveterate party animal on the cusp of alcoholism, he woke up one morning and decided to cut out all the dross. He moved to Seattle, became a teetotal vegan, stripped his music back to the bare bones and played the traditional tunes he'd learned back home. His life was transformed, and his beguiling playing touched people in ways he or they could never have imagined. A beautiful, hypnotic album of instrumental music.