Maeve Donnelly and Tony McManus in Concert
I’m pretty sure I smelled smoke. I think it was coming from the sizzling strings of Maeve Donnelly and Tony McManus.
The sprightly virtuoso fiddler from Quin, County Clare, accompanied by the guitar master from Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland, didn’t set off the sprinkler system at the Coatesville Cultural Society, but it was touch and go there for a while. They played Saturday night to a packed house (now, that’s what we like to see), bringing a big smile to the face of Frank Dalton of the Coatesville Traditional Irish Music Series, which sponsored the show.
Maeve and Tony treated the audience to close to two hours of light-speed reels and jet-powered jigs—and one or two non-traditional tunes. (One particular highlight was Tony’s solo performance of two lovely gavottes from Brittany.)
Maeve’s solo set was no less dazzling. She performed her set of tunes—including a Junior Crehan hornpipe, “Her Golden Hair Flowed down Her Back” —on a fiddle with a non-traditional tuning. (“Out of tuning,” she called it.)
There were times when I heard Maeve do things that I didn’t think you could do on a fiddle. I swear I saw her levitate.
Or maybe it was just me.
Judge for yourself. Check out our videos and Gwyneth MacArthur’s photos.