Link to Living Tradition Homepage





EDDIE SEAMAN - Cave Of Gold 

EDDIE SEAMAN - Cave Of Gold 
Greentrax Recordings CDTRAX409 

Piping and whistle playing from a well-known Scottish musician who's just got round to doing a solo album - Eddie Seaman is a familiar figure from Barluath and other bands, particularly in the piping world, and released a duo album a few years back with Luc McNally. Accompaniment here is provided by Aaron Jones on bouzouki for about half the album - the rest is unaccompanied.

Drawing on the tradition and on contemporary piping compositions, Cave Of Gold features none of Eddie's own tunes, a bold move. The material here is all tried and tested, some over centuries: The Yellow Tinker, The Bobs Of Balmoral, O'Dwyer Of The Glen, Salute To Donald and several more. The title track is sung by Maeve MacKinnon and tells a typical Hebridean story of pipers and fairies and the wounds sustained on the way home from the pub; Eddie plays pipes and whistle in a dramatic arrangement. The Gaelic piping tradition is well represented here, with a number of MacLeod tunes and a great set of mouth-music reels on the pipes. There's a lovely trio of Irish dance tunes adapted for the Scottish instrument, and a fine rendition of John McSherry's slipjig, The Snow Crystal, before Seaman switches to the low whistle from Madeleine Stewart's Fiddle Bee.

In fact, the pipes appear on every track here, sometimes mixed with whistle but often on their own, yet Cave Of Gold doesn't seem like a heavy piping album. Eddie Seaman makes this music approachable, palatable, enjoyable, even for those who wouldn't normally listen to highland piping: an impressive feat, while still showing the best of the Scottish tradition.

Alex Monaghan


This review appeared in Issue 142 of The Living Tradition magazine