Link to Living Tradition Homepage





Maggie McInnes - "Spiorad Beatha (The Spirit of life)" - MARCD 01

Oh, how I wish I spoke Gaelic and had a full understanding of Gaelic- language music! Normally, I'd be very nervous about "passing judgement" on a CD that is so far outside my own expertise and normal listening. Despite the language barrier, however, this an very easy Gaelic CD to like. Ushered in with some ominously Celto-whooshy noises, these fade away and the CD settles down rapidly into a very balanced pattern. The singing is very pretty indeed and the arranging closer to conventional, to my ears, than was Alyth McCormick's recent, rather splendid, offering. Graeme Hughes pitches in with some crunchy electric guitar to give the thing a bit of bite but there's lots of fiddle, piano and clarsach to hold up the basically traditional sound - so perhaps this one will steer that difficult course between the traditionalists and the modernisers.

To an "outsider" like me, however, this is very much the accessible face of Gaeldom. I even recognised the lovely "Oran A'Mharache" (Sailor's Song) from somewhere - no idea where. It must have seeped into my consciousness genetically! It's never sounded better.

If you want a first CD of Gaelic music that will not be "hard work" and is not simple "Celtowhooshing" - this would be a good place to start.

Alan Murray

Secure On-line mailorder service Buy this CD online from The Listening Post
The Listening Post is the CD mailorder service of The Living Tradition magazine.
This album was reviewed in Issue 46 of The Living Tradition magazine.