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VARIOUS ARTISTES - The Music And Song Of Edinburgh

VARIOUS ARTISTES - The Music And Song Of Edinburgh
Greentrax CDGMP8013

Nowadays, even CDs sometimes qualify for a makeover – and having taken 14 years to deplete the original stock it obviously seemed to be a suitable juncture to revisit this gem of an album.  While most of the tracks are the same, we’ve lost Gill Bowman’s excellent Auld Lang Syne, to be replaced by The Easy Club’s The Auld Toon Shuffle.  Out also go Wendy Stewart and Heritage, sacrificed for the insertion of two Linties tracks.  The original 12 page insert is reduced to a minimalist track listing – but the target market will hardly notice.  This is, again, a shining example of what Greentrax excel in – well chosen showcases, brought together to form jolly collectives.  Robin Laing spins his magical tales of the Union Canal and Deacon Brodie.  The McCalmans make three appearances (six if you count Ian Bruce’s take on Ian’s Edinburgh and two of his duets with Fiona Forbes [including the celebrated Sandy Bell’s Man]).  Come to think of it Stephen Quigg makes a solo appearance as well, nowadays a ‘Mac’ also!  What a tangled web they weave.

Taken as a package this works on every level, appealing to the folk audience and also well placed as tourist fodder, well in time for the summer market.  The fact that most of these artistes singing tearfully about Edinburgh have chosen to live elsewhere would seem churlish to mention (but I have anyway, as is my wont). Fact is, this is, as I’ve already stressed, a gem and well worth a pop.

Grem Devlin

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This album was reviewed in Issue 82 of The Living Tradition magazine.