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About Whirligig

Although one could be forgiven for a little confusion, the U.K.-based Celtic group Whirligig is not the same as New York's own Celtic band of the exact same name. Though both are fusion-minded, the U.K.'s Whirligig is the slightly more traditional bunch, blending acoustic Celtic sounds with early and medieval music, plus touches of the late Renaissance and early Baroque periods. The group was initially led by twin sisters Jenny and Fiona Cuthill, both classically trained musicians who played recorder and fiddle, in addition to handling the group's arrangements. Multi-instrumentalist Steve Lawrence (guitar, mandolin, bouzouki, Leicestershire and Scottish small pipes, percussion) rounded out the original trio's lineup on its 1995 debut album, Celtic Dawn. The album also featured Anne Chaurand (lute, guitar) and Jim Morton (hurdy-gurdy, Appalachian dulcimer), the former of whom became an official member of the group for What If a Day..., the group's second album. A major lineup change followed; both Cuthill sisters departed, Morton was made an official member, and Northumbrian small pipes player Ken Campbell also joined the group, with Lawrence taking over leadership. Nonetheless, Whirligig's next album, 2001's First Frost, continued in much the same Celtic/medieval vein as its predecessors. ~ Steve Huey

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