The Multi-Dimensional Sound of Joe O’Donnell’s Shkayla

‘Storytellers’ is the recently released new single from Joe O’Donnell’s Shkayla, which gives us a taster of what to expect from the re-issue of ‘Gaodhal’s Vision’ on April 28th.

Beginning with a powerful, driving introduction, led by the fiddle, one is immediately
drawn in by the thematic motif that is reminiscent of the music by the progressive folk rock band, Jethro Tull. However, within seconds we are quickly taken to another musical soundscape that is spacious, with galloping drum fills that travel across the stereo mix, and thick, flanger chordal accompaniment by the guitar and keys which floats in the background. The fiddle introduces a new eloquent melody that takes one back to the organic sound of traditional folk song, followed by a short improvisation.

The pace of the music is then livened up again with a 1970s, Rolling Stones-esque funk
feel that serves as the main dynamic force throughout this section, while O’Donnell
continues with showcasing his expertise on the fiddle. This one in particular sounds like it could be sung as a vocal line, along with its harmony parts. The bass line in this section is also reminiscent of John Paul Jones’ work with Led Zeppelin, particularly during their Physical Graffiti era. Keeping this same groove until the end, O’Donnell explores new timbres of the fiddle by implementing the wah-wah effects pedal to his soloing. The result being a Hendrix infused, psychedelic rawness that conveys O’Donnell embarking on a trip of innovative and original fiddle sounds.

Through a progression of contrasting ideas, O’Donnell’s Shkayla search and successfully discover new sound dimensions in ‘Storytellers’ that feeds ancient music with fresh energy.


Listen to ‘Storytellers’ here on itunes:


Joe and Shkayla are performing live at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry on 31st March and 1st April. Buy tickets for the shows here:


Matt Duduryn

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