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Phamie Gow "Lammermuir" Greentrax - CDTRAX 224

It's suggested that this collection of tunes and songs has an underlying theme - the common link being her beloved Border country, and in particular the works of Lady John Scott who died 100 years prior to this performance. Normally I'm left rather cold and oftentimes even numbed by albums that go under the guise of Folk Opera or even musical travelogues - frequently with the most tenuous of links between the tracks. But I have been charmed by this youngster, who manages to give a magnificent live performance on the clarsach, and even avoids being upstaged by her guests (including Alasdair Fraser, Mairi Campbell and Patsy Seddon).

The concert from which this album was taken actually took place at Celtic Connections 2000 (yes more than two years ago), although I suppose Phamie was keen on leaving a healthy time lapse after her first album (which was released the same month as the concert in question). She was only 19 at the time and played with incredible maturity. The quality of recording is excellent for a live 'one-off' - indeed it's only when the well deserved applause occurs at the end of tracks that you realize that this was a big concert (and I wish I'd been there). And you'll probably not hear another album this year that contains three tunes named after fields, one after a meadow and one after a track used to transport fish (and they all sound brilliant - the tunes that is, not the fish).

Grem Devlin

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This album was reviewed in Issue 47 of The Living Tradition magazine.