Link to Living Tradition Homepage






Purt Sheearan Records PSRCD002

This album is aptly named Turrys (‘Journey): the last two years since the release of Ruth Keggin’s debut Sheear (‘Westwards’) have been quite a trip. Through tours, television and radio appearances, and an album with pan-Gaelic trio, Aon Teanga (with Mary-Ann Kennedy and Eoghan Ó Ceannabháin), Ruth has emerged with a self-produced second offering that is assured, innovative and beautiful.

Ruth’s charismatic vocals and flute are joined by Eoghan’s flute, voice and concertina, David Pearce’s guitar and voice and Vanessa Hutchinson’s double bass, and their crystalline sound evokes both landscapes and seascapes. This is most evident on two Bob Carswell compositions: the blissful homage to the sunrise, Irree Ny Greiney, and the sombre ecological dialogue, Ushag Varrey (‘Seabird’), which is underpinned by the sounds of pistol shrimp in Ardnamurchan (a frequent Keggin family holiday destination). The formative influence of Scotland on Ruth finds expression in a Manx version of Runrig’s Scots Gaelic heartstring-puller Chì mi’n Geamhradh (Heeym yn Geurey). As well as the instrumental set, Napoleon’s Chanter, there are also some creative song mashups: Carval weds a traditional Manx tune to a joyful English-language song composed by Ruth, David and Vanessa; Annie Kissack’s Mish As Y Keayn (‘Me and the Sea’) tenderly melts into Arrane Ny Niee (‘Washing Song’), and (my personal favourite) the Manx song Ushag Veg Ruy (‘Little Red Bird’) is hybridised with its better-known American counterpart, Where Did You Sleep Last Night? A bright jewel of an album from this leading voice in the Manx music revival.

Clare Button

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 116 of The Living Tradition magazine.