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HEATHER HEYWOOD -"Lassies Fair and Laddies Braw"
The Living Tradition LTCD1007
Yet another fine addition to the Tradition Bearers series, this album is in its way a tribute to the singers from which Heather Heywood learned many of her songs. Though she comes from a singing family, her sources for this recording range from Belle Stewart to Dick Gaughan. As any good singer would, she makes these songs her own, and they in turn have become part of her life. She has a silvery, silky voice that rings out strong and clear across the notes in such songs as "The Bonny Wee Lassie Who Never Said No". All the classic folk song themes; love, treachery, tragedy and disaster, are present in abundance here. "The Auchengeich Disaster", for example, is not long, yet it conveys the sense of shock and loss with hair-raising imagery of a coal mine in which the "flames of hell below were burning". On a much happier note is the gorgeous "Queen Among the Heather" with its flowing melody and lovely pastoral impressions. Most of the songs are unaccompanied, though a few tracks feature the tasteful guitar accompaniment of Tony McManus. One of these is "The Lichtbob's Lassie" a slightly defiant song, sung from the point of view of a girl who's left the comforts of home to follow her lover, the soldier. She also uses the slightest touch of vocal overdubbing to great effect on the rousing opener "Up and Awa' wi' the Laverock". An altogether charming collection of treasured songs, lovingly sung.

Elaine Bradtke

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This album was reviewed in Issue 43 of The Living Tradition magazine.