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What Kevin Heard: "Carly Dow makes her solo CD debut with an enchantingly dark and poignant package"

Music expert Kevin Bryan looks at albums from time gone by, including Ingrained by Carly Dow and Simply Celtic Spirit

Canadian singer-songwriter Carly Dow

Fancy picking up a new album to enjoy this winter, but not sure what to go for?

Here's music reviewer Kevin Bryan's low-down on another selection of albums from years gone by:

Carly Dow, "Ingrained" (Self-released)

Canadian singer-songwriter Carly Dow makes her solo CD debut with an enchantingly dark and poignant package inspired by top notch performers such as Gillian Welch and Amelia Curran.

The Manitoban native has an authentically emotive approach to music-making which finds its fullest expression in subtly memorable explorations of love and loss such as "Not A Songbird," "Down This Road" and "All Sleep Tonight."

Frederieke Saeijs, "Eugene Ysaye- Six Sonatas for Solo Violin, Op.27" (Linn Records)

Classical violinist Frederieke Saeijs' latest Linn recital explores some of the musical landscapes created by the Belgian composer Eugene Ysaye.

These technically taxing works were composed in the 1920s after Ysaye had heard a performance by the great Hungarian violinist Joseph Szigeti of one of J.S.Bach's solo sonatas, and they place similar demands on their interpreter's instrumental expertise.

Saeijs rises to the challenge quite superbly here with a dazzling display of lyricism and emotional expressiveness.

"It Takes Two - Dynamic Duos of the Rock & Roll Era" (Fantastic Voyage )

Some of the vocal pairings featured here may be a little less dynamic than the title of this anthology suggests, but the three-CD set does provide a revealing insight into the musical culture of the pre-Beatles era nonetheless.

The pop, country and R&B fare of half a century or more ago is well represented by choice offerings from the likes of The Everly Brothers, Jan & Dean and Ike & Tina Turner, and the compilers have also unearthed a historic recording from the youthful Simon & Garfunkel in the shape of their minor 1957 hit, "Hey Little Schoolgirl," released during the then teenagers' short-lived and otherwise unsuccessful stint as Tom & Jerry.

"Simply Celtic Spirit" (Union Square)

This easy on the ear 60-track anthology focuses attention on the multi-faceted delights of Irish roots music, drawing on contributions from performers as diverse as Altan, Niamh Parsons and Aran sweatered folkies The Clancy Brothers.

The latter outfit's unashamedly populist stance brought the Clancys a string of million selling albums during their commercial heyday in the early sixties, and this 3CD retrospective features several of the bona fide crowd pleasers which helped to fuel their lengthy run of American chart success during those far off days, including "The Irish Rover," "The Wild Colonial Boy" and "The Foggy Dew."

Want to listen to more new music? Why not check out our weekly Unsigned Friday columns for new talent?

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