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KATHLEEN MACINNES - Hunt The Hare ~ A Branch Of May

Private Label KMAC001

Album number two from the sultry songstress, long-awaited by the many fans she has accumulated after her brilliant debut on the Greentrax label and her rise to fame through appearances on The Transatlantic Sessions and the Ridley Scott film, Robin Hood, and it does not disappoint.

For those of you who have missed her so far, Kathleen, from South Uist, is a television presenter, actress and singer of mainly Scottish Gaelic songs. She has a voice that you would never tire of – throaty, sexy, haunting and absolutely unique.

Cille Bhríde is pleasingly varied, with sparsely accompanied songs, some with more full arrangements, simple and elegant love songs, and some where Kathleen is joined by Cathy Ann MacPhee and Sineag MacIntyre to create a powerhouse of vocals. The arrangements are sympathetic and at times movingly beautiful.

Highlights for me are Gur Milis Mòrag, a lullaby arranged simply which makes use of lovely vocal harmonies; Shìos An Taigh An Tòraidh, where Kathleen is joined by Laoise Kelly’s gorgeous clarsach; and a waulking song / clapping song that prominently features Bela Fleck’s banjo – not a combination that I would have thought of, but one that works well!

The informative sleeve notes are cleverly arranged in both Gaelic and English making it readily accessible for all. An absolute masterpiece from start to finish.

Fiona Heywood

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This album was reviewed in Issue 94 of The Living Tradition magazine.