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"Alchemy" is the Tannahill Weavers' thirteenth album, not including a couple of compilations. The release of this CD has been an anticipated event for the band's many followers and is to be welcomed by everyone with an interest in good folk-traditional music. Having been "on the road" for twenty seven years and with a prolonged recording career it must be difficult to maintain such a high standard of work let alone improve on it but I think "Alchemy" is their best recording to date.

The Tannahill Weavers play an amazing array of instruments including pipes Scottish and Irish large and small and most other things that can be plucked, bowed, blown or struck and if that is not enough four of them sing as well. They produce some of the most exciting instrumental music around, full blooded yet with subtlety that rewards the attentive listener. The fine harmonies on the vocal tracks give a rich strong sound. Their choice of material is first class throughout. Traditional and modern items sitting comfortably together, is there a lesson there somewhere ? Everything is faultlessly arranged and flawlessly performed.

"Alchemy" is a very well produced CD that gives the impression everything has been done to optimize the listener's pleasure. The notes are concise but informative with song texts and a useful glossary for those like me who need it.

The Tannahill Weavers long standing enthusiasts are promised "a few pleasant little surprises this time around" which will please them. However in the unlikely event that you have not come across them before you are in for a real treat if you purchase "Alchemy". Highly recommended.

Danny Saunders

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This album was reviewed in Issue 42 of The Living Tradition magazine.