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GORDON DUNCAN "Thunderstruck" Greentrax CDTRAX241

New Gordon Duncan releases are more eagerly awaited than Boxing Day at a turkey farm. Such is the quality of his previous releases each new release comes with an enormous weight of expectation that it will be as least as good if not better than the last. This is a difficult trick to pull off (ask any pop/rock band), but if there is a fall a coming it's not with this CD.

Gordon is renowned for not just stepping over the borders of piping but trampling them into the ground. Where Gordon goes the rest of the piping world inevitably follows. This CD sees Gordon evoke images of sultry dusky maidens (in The Belly Dancer), stir memories of Lorient and embrace head banging rock with the AC/DC tune Thunderstruck. Of course he also delivers tunes at speeds that make the Japanese bullet train look like the steam train to Mallaig. Yet here is plenty of diversity to go with the trademark rapid fire including a piobaireachd inspired piece called Nae Door Pibroch.

A clever choice of accompanists including the peerless Tony McManus (who also does a fabulous job of producing the CD) are thoughtfully but sparing used - the piping is the star here. To close the CD Gordon overlays a drum salute (played by John Scullion) on the ground of a piobaireachd before rattling into his signature tune, Andy Renwicks Ferret. Pure class.

Incredible as it seems Gordon just seems to get better and better and this CD is his best yet

Chris MacKenzie

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