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THE TANNAHILL WEAVERS "Arnish Light" Greenlinnet glcd1226

When they're good, the Tannies are the best that Scotland can aspire to (and believe me, that is THE BEST). I haven't had a continuous love affair with them, however, and have been pleasantly surprised and uplifted by this album. From the opening tour-de-force of a title track to 'The Rose Amang the Thorn' (a beautiful new song by Roy Gullane) this offering has all the ingredients of a masterpiece, although 'Up In The Morning's No' For Me' (eccentrically -constructed from various sources) hasn't much to recommend it apart from its title, despite the provenance of its origins. That said, even the latter grows legs after a few listenings. One advantage of a self-produced album by 'old' campaigners (apologies to Colin Melville) is that at least there's a good chance that live sets are reasonably faithfully reproduced in terms of gusto and mix, and in this case the temptation for self-indulgence has been resisted. I suppose like many traditional/nouveau-trad albums, this demonstrates that the guys are very much preaching to the converted. So if you are a Tannies fan or convert you'll love this, as it's their best album for ages - but there is not a hint of anything innovative, they are sticking to what they know best (and what their target audience is expecting to hear). No rocking or rollin' here - it does exactly what it says on the tin, and that is as good as it gets (and yes, I do love you again chaps - for now).

Grem Devlin

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This album was reviewed in Issue 54 of The Living Tradition magazine.