The Irish Echo, September 13, 2019
Lilt's CD "X", reviewed by Dan Neely
…In other news from the greater Washington, D.C. area, the duo Lilt have released “Lilt X” to commemorate their 10-year anniversary. Lilt are Tina Eck (flute, tin whistle) and Keith Carr (bouzouki, banjo, mandolin), and to help them celebrate their diamond anniversary recording they’ve recruited a long list of guest musicians to contribute, including Donna Long (piano), Billy McComiskey (accordion), Seán Heely (fiddle), Peri Leightly (fiddle), Philippe Varlet (fiddle), Jim Stickley (bodhrán), Zan McLeod (guitar), Josh Dukes (guitar), Seth Kibel (clarinet), and Kate Bole (dance). It’s a special lineup of players and the results will appeal to Lilt’s fans and trad music lovers from all around.
Eck and Carr have a terrific rapport – the 10 years they’ve been playing together as a duo have clearly given them great insight into how to connect musically, and the way they show this on “Lilt X” is what gives the album its strength. Eck is an excellent player with a lovely tone and an effortless flow. Carr has a sensitive ear for her playing, which lets him explore his creativity as an accompanist using smart chord choices and rhythmic variety. Carr is also a fine banjo player, and the tracks on which he and Eck shares the melodic lead (I think specifically of “Going To Mass Last Sunday / …” and “The Jiggery Pokerwork / …”) are standouts.
The guest musicians deserve great credit here as well. McComiskey is in fine form. Dukes and McLeod’s guitar playing are well mobilized on the tracks they appear on, and the fiddle playing of Heely, Leightly, and Varlet all caught my ear, as did that of Kibel, whose clarinet work on “Dha Chich Dannan / …” shied away from the conventions of traditional Irish phrasing by playing over the melody and bending notes in a most engaging way.
“Lilt X” is a tuneful album that is a terrific reflection on a decade together. The music is sweet and is certain to delight fans of the band. Give it a spin! For more information, visit www.liltirishmusic.com.