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HIGHLANDERS - Cruce De Caminos

HIGHLANDERS - Cruce De Caminos
Oca Records CD10110

There is a very worthwhile trend nowadays for Celtic musicians to come together to explore each others’ musical backgrounds and then blend them together a bit. The title of this CD means “crossroads”, so it gives the game away a little bit!

Highlanders are Borja Feal, flute, piccolo, whistle, low whistle; Eduardo Andérez, guitars; and Isidro Terán, with additional percussion, banjo and nyckelharpa on some tracks, along with bits and pieces of background effects. The unifying thread is that they were all born in Cantabria, or now stay there. All the musicians have solid back-stories and they play together with a lightness of touch that revitalises the tunes, some of which are standard session numbers. These themselves come from Scotland, Ireland, Brittany, Galicia and Cantabria, so there are plenty of different styles in the mix.

On several tracks, the band play the tunes at a slightly slower tempo to start with, showing off their subtleties, playing every note very precisely in a measured fashion, then they break into a faster version, to give even more variation to what is already a very good mixture. If anything, the liveliest sets are those from Galicia and Cantabria, where there is a little bit more layering of the music to provide a further depth to the playing, but the whole package is highly enjoyable, with good-quality playing throughout.

Good solid playing, well played and engineered, as all the instruments can be clearly made out. An enjoyable album.

Gordon Potter

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This album was reviewed in Issue 113 of The Living Tradition magazine.