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VARIOUS ARTISTS - a Highland Journey Vol.2 – Music In The Glen

VARIOUS ARTISTS - a Highland Journey Vol.2 – Music In The Glen
Greentrax Recordings  CDGMP8014

Before you jump on me, I’d like to say that starting the album title with a lower case ‘a’ isn’t a typo – it’s really written that way (just for the record) – apart from on the associated press release…

The music’s rather good though – a fine selection of traditional Scottish tunes, performed with customary gusto by Pete Clark (fiddle), Marc Duff (whistles and recorder) and the producer, Jack Evans, on guitar, bouzouki, mandolin and whistle. Various country and farmyard noises off stage accompany the introductions to the tracks in order to reinforce the highland credentials. The person adding the pretty lame tambourine to The Banks Of The Spey is not credited, but I guess they’d prefer to remain anonymous.

When tracks work well, they truly fly – Glemoriston is stunning, although the sounds at the end purporting to be Loch Ness are more reminiscent of a flushing loo… I also love the Skye medley, including the only non-trad tune – Jack Evans’ The Fairy Glen, which is delightful. Mind you, if one of the intentions is to accompany persons on a trip around the Highlands, at barely 47 minutes long it would scarcely take you 15 miles past the traffic jams at Perth – maybe a case for releasing it bundled with Volume 1 – might get you past Crieff anyway.

Most of the killer tracks are those that are fiddle led – culminating with the final brilliant medley (The Caledonian March/Music In The Glen) which alone makes this one worth a punt – just wish that the album were a tad longer, and that they’d considered kicking the sound effects into the long heather.

Grem Devlin

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This album was reviewed in Issue 92 of The Living Tradition magazine.