Charlene Adzima | The Initiation

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Folk: Irish Traditional Folk: Irish Contemporary Moods: Type: Acoustic
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The Initiation

by Charlene Adzima

A montage of fresh and exciting traditional and newly-composed Irish music on fiddle and Gaelic songs sung in old and new ways.
Genre: Folk: Irish Traditional
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. An Cailin Rua
3:49 $0.99
2. Smash the Brisket/Hunter's House/Maids of Mitchelstown
4:24 $0.99
3. What Care I for the Minister?/Humours of Whiskey
2:35 $0.99
4. Einini
2:17 $0.99
5. The Initiation Reel
3:01 $0.99
6. The Old Flail/Pauline Conneely's/Sizzling Bacon
4:34 $0.99
7. Castle Kelly's/Uncle Andy's Delight
5:25 $0.99
8. Inion A'Bhaoghailligh
4:02 $0.99
9. Jimmie McGetrick's/John Naughton's/Tom Ward's Downfall
3:15 $0.99
10. Ceol A'Phiobaire
2:35 $0.99
11. The Rambling Pitchfork/Trip to Reykjavik/Tommy Peoples'
4:40 $0.99
12. Marcus Hernon's Air
3:18 $0.99
13. The Old Blackbird Hornpipe/Lady Alexander's
4:13 $0.99
14. Farewell to Tara Hall/Old Jones' Jig
5:18 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Charlene Adzima has been playing violin since she started Suzuki lessons at the ripe old age of nine. By the time she was 14, she had been listening to her mom's Irish dance music for a few years and was asked to start playing in the session down at Tara Hall, a local pub run by an Ancient Order of Hibernians group. Over the next ten years, she gained experience in performing through her old band Aisling, and honed her Irish style by going to The Swannanoa Gathering in Asheville, NC and Augusta in Elkins, WV.

Her singing skills were developed at home with her mother, who grew up singing with her sisters and father in the south side of Chicago. The Irish style was not introduced to Charlene until she started studying the music on the fiddle. Several Altan albums later, she managed to learn to sing songs in Irish and only recently started singing them in public, at the request of well-renowned musicians.

Now 26, she has developed a unique style of playing Irish fiddle under the influences of locals such as Sandy Jones, Deborah Colon, Ted Jordan and internationally known fiddlers such as Liz Carroll, Oisín Mac Diarmada, Antóin Mac Gabhann, Seamus Connolly, Eileen Ivers and more. Gold medalist of the 2005 Midwest Fleadh Cheoil, she has competed at the all-Ireland music competition twice. She has performed at venues around the country, including nearly 10 years in a row at the Dublin (Ohio) Irish Festival. A former Irish step dancer, she plays regularly for feiseanna (Irish dance competitions) where she is known for her steady rhythm, knowledge of dance and energizing style. She is moving to Reno, NV in August 2008 for her husband’s graduate school in geology. She is hoping to teach and perform full-time in the “Biggest Little City in the World.”

Her most recent endeavors include:

-joining the band Oisre (on hiatus) and completing a demo album (2005)
-teaching Irish fiddle to 6 students a week aging from 8 to 66 years old
-working full-time at the Loft Violin Shop in Columbus, OH (
-subbing as interim fiddler in the bands Glen Road (Kansas City, MO) and in The General Guinness Band (Columbus, OH)
-anchoring several sessions a month in Columbus, OH
-playing at various feiseanna (Irish dance competitions) in OH, IL, and MI
-playing for ceilis and contradances all over Ohio with the band Continental Drift (Marian Funk and Rick Nelson)
-playing for former president Jimmy Carter in 2005
-performing a 3 week stint with Glen Road and General Guinness at Dollywood in 2007 and 5 weeks in 2008 as part of the “Festival of Nations”
-performing as the headliner in Key Largo, FL for their St. Patrick’s Day festival in 2007 and 2008
-recording on multi-instrumentalist Randy Clepper’s upcoming album (2008) (
-recording on General Guinness Band’s upcoming album (2008)

In 2007, Charlene finished and released her first solo album under the direction of producer Mike Dugger, formerly of Scartaglen. The album is a montage of several different styles and arrangements of Irish tunes and songs, including several newly composed tunes by Charlene, one of which features a duet with Chicago fiddler Liz Carroll. Guests on the album include Liz Carroll (fiddle), Marian Funk (piano accordion), Zac Leger (guitar, whistles, bodhran, percussion), Craig Markley (piano, keyboard), Rick Nelson (guitar), John Sherman (tenor banjo), Jennifer Short (cello) and Jeni Westerkamp (harp).

***New CD Review from Irish Music Magazine!***

"Charlene Adzima is a Columbus, Ohio-based fiddler. Her debut enterprise, ‘The Initiation’ is a nice mix of tunes and songs. She uses the talents of her friends and teachers to good device, but it is her ability that makes this album work.

Adzima has a wonderful feel for her instrument. She is able to coax out the sweetness of ‘The Rambling Pitchfork/Trip to Reykjavik/ Tommy Peoples’, a series of lightly played jigs and reels. ‘Marcus Hernon’s Air’ is filled with the requisite heart tugging a well-played slow air can muster. She plays with Liz Carroll on ‘The Initiation Reel’, and masterfully matches her note for note in a strong bit of playing.

Adzima also sings a number of songs, all in Irish. Her voice is soft, sweet, and slightly small. The first, ‘An Cailin Rua’, is probably the weakest of the numbers, and it also leads off the album. However, she is superb on the lullaby ‘Einini’, and ‘Inion A’ Bhaoghaillagh’, both somewhat haunting in their delivery, the latter assisted by Josh Michaels’ vocals and Craig Markley’s keyboards.
Adzima is joined by a number of Columbus area musicians. They include: Marian Funk, Craig Markley John Sherman and Zac Leger (a fellow bandmate in her other project ‘Oisre’). Their contributions fill in the spaces around her playing and singing, such as Funk’s accordion on ‘Farewell to Tara Hall/Old Jones Jig’, and Leger’s guitar and whistles on ‘Smash the Brisket/Hunter’s House/Maids of Mitchelstown’. Mike Dugger, late of Scartaglen, expertly produced the album. If the Columbus players are representative of the music in that part Ohio, they are a blessed region, to be certain. ‘The Initiation’ is a very good bit of music. Adzima clearly has passed hers with flying colors."

--Brian G Witt



to write a review


Charlene, my friend and cohort, I'm only giving you 4 stars because while I LOVE this album, I know you and your producer can do EVEN better!

I agree with the reviewer that your singing on 'Einini' was fantastic, but the accompaniment just didn't gel - timing and tuning was a bit off (but I'm ultra picky, I know, right?).

I also agree, the first song is one of the weaker ones - I wish they were ordered a bit differently to give a bit stronger "first impression" on the first listen. While I'm sure you spent a long time selecting tunes, you really shine on fast-paced complex songs, so I also might have exchanged a couple of the slower more repetitive tunes for ones that match your skills.

All the same - I can't wait to hear more! You've really turned me on to this genre.

Harold Schott

The Initiation
I liked this album so much that I'm ordering another for my teenaged grandaughter who also likes Irish music. The air "Marcus Hernon" almost brought tears to my eyes. "She's so good, why isn't she better known", my wife asked. "she's young", I said.

Dan Driscoll

Destined to be a classic
I first saw Charlene at the Dublin (Ohio) Irish Festival some years back when she was with Aisling. Their cd "The Dream" was picked up at that time and to this day I still listen to it straight through from start to finish (and it sometimes remains in my car cd player for months!) When I heard about this cd, I just had to give it a listen and Charlene does not disappoint. "The Initiation" reminds me of some of the sessions I heard at An Bothar in Dingle town, O'Connors Pub in Doolin or McCarthy's in Baltimore. If you love the Irish fiddle, this is an absolute must have.