After his critically acclaimed first solo long player with Project SMOK, Ali Levack has turned his attention to the composition of new material and arrangements for his first solo EP whilst in lockdown. My Notes - Volume 1 is a highly energetic six track release that showcases the author’s distinctive low whistle playing and mastery of the pipes.
From the first notes of the opening jig and reel medley Annie Clohessy’s, Levack’s distinctive sound catches the ear, both in traditionally arranged tracks like the aforementioned and Dileas’ Jig, and in more modern sounding ones such as Adah’s Way and the powerful Birdspotting. The latter is perhaps the most striking piece on this EP, thanks to the remarkable intertwining between the swinging electric guitar and the vibrant low whistle and pipes.
The EP also includes a slow air and reel solo Pipe Set and a new rendition of old favourite Come My Little Son, the latter sung by Ciaran Cooney over an arrangement by Levack.
The idiosyncratic embellishments, particularly the very distinctive use of tonguing, are a key feature of Levack’s whistle playing which this release makes good use of, while also highlighting his piping skills.
The arrangements are totally consistent with his previous work with Project SMOK, so the overall impression reflects what one could expect reading the name on the front cover: dexterity, talent and musical dynamism, the qualities that launched Levack’s name among the rising stars of British folk music.Michele Mele
Self released on 1 December 2020
1. Annie Clohessy’s
2. Adah’s Way
3. Pipe Set
4. Come My Little Son
5. Dileas’ Jig