Traditionally Yours (with Bill King)
Piano maestro/producer Bill King is setting the bar high with his "piano and voice" series of albums for Slaight Music. Following on from fine releases by Gavin Hope and Selena Evangeline, he collaborates with famed tenor star John McDermott on Traditionally Yours. As the title suggests, it features versions of much-loved Irish and Scottish classics. McDermott is on top vocal form and the sparse settings of the songs allow the melodies and the powerfully emotional lyrics to shine. From the centuries-old "Cockles and Mussels" to the closer, "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling", he doesn't put a foot wrong. An ideal addition to Christmas stockings, fer sure. In his illustrious career, McDermott has toured internationally and recorded over 25 albums, with many selling platinum-plus.
McDermott (and King) reprised some of these tunes at Jazz Bistro in Toronto last week. He is now playing a series of Xmas-themed shows in Ontario, including one at Hugh's Room in Toronto on Dec. 16.