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ORCHESTRA MACAROON Breakfast in Balquhidder Backshore Productions BKSHCD01

When an Englishman (OK, I confess!) receives a CD that proudly bears the words 'WARNING: This product may contain traces of Bagpipes!' you will forgive me for approaching it with some trepidation. Needlessly, as it turned out. Orchestra Macaroon are a musical collective comprising Colin Blakey (Ex Waterboys), Phil Bull and Steve 'Wee' Brown (both Ex 'Gila Monster'), together with a cohort of other musicians whose names were mostly new to me. 'Breakfast in Balquhidder' was recorded at Colin's studio on Easdale Island, Argyll and comprises 12 tracks that bring together the aforementioned pipes (of all kinds) with a variety of Jazz and World Musical instruments and influences to create wonderful music that defies labelling and doesn't need it anyway. A track called 'Sun in the Eyes' deserves special mention (Salsa Bagpipes, no less! No, Really!) and the title track has a marvellous flavour of the orient to my ears. Quite simply some of the best Roots music I have heard in ages. You can find out more on a very good website at it now.

Phil Thomas

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This album was reviewed in Issue 60 of The Living Tradition magazine.