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Greentrax Recordings CDTRAX398 

First, a word on the design of this Digipak by John Slavin. Quite outstanding, and its burnt orange colour scheme, so unusual.

The album takes its title from the opening track about a girl from South Uist who left to seek her fortune in the Yukon gold rush. This opening song, or to be more precise, opening “story” - what Duncan rightly uses as his word for all of his song writing here with bass guitarist Cy Jack – sets the scene for the gold that follows. And you quickly come to realise that the land of gold isn’t Canada, but Scotland itself. The rest of the album is largely a telling of the story of the vicissitudes of life North of the Border – with an emphasis on the good and the true – and with some classic songs from the pens of luminaries such as Eric Bogle, Ewan MacColl and Matt McGinn, thrown in.

There is a stellar cast of deeply impressive studio musicians, too long to list. But I must make mention of Chris Stout. If this was a movie, he would get his name above the title in publicity posters. His contribution is immense: his fiddle and piano are everywhere, and always played so simpatico and with total assurance.

Standout track is Resurrection Road (A Clydeside Carol) with the wonderful Rab Noakes sharing the vocals, and its brilliant horiz’n/risin’ rhyme.

A gorgeous CD that makes this reviewing adventure I have spent half a lifetime enmeshed in, seem gloriously worthwhile.

Dai Woosnam

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This album was reviewed in Issue 126 of The Living Tradition magazine.