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Private Label IAT003 

This is Iain’s first album since his Field Of Dreams CD of 2010. It contains ten new self penned songs plus one setting of a Gaelic poem. It features his friend, multi-instrumentalist and Capercaillie co-founder, Mark Duff: though, truth to tell, it features is an understatement, for his virtuoso playing of bouzouki, uilleann pipes, whistle, bodhrán, and even wind synthesiser are all over this album, and he deserves joint billing on the CD front cover, and not the smaller typeface that shows him as best supporting actor, so-to-speak. That said, Thomson is nobody’s mug: his songs are well crafted, his voice is always mellifluous, and his guitar work is authoritative.

None of the songs are duds: and some rather good. Fascinatingly, Iain has made his living running a fencing business, so naturally that meant that mischievous me zeroed-in on the title track...!! It goes down Lennon’s “imagine there’s no countries” route, with regard to Syrian refugees crossing the Med, but does so persuasively. No confusion between day job and world view.

Iain relates today’s refugees to crofters in the Highland Clearances. His Glendale Martyrs is the standout track: it tells how the courageous defiance of Skye crofters eventually led to governmental change. Quite educational for duffers like me with a hazy knowledge of the events of nearly two centuries back. (It’s great to be wiser after listening to an album, than one was before...!!)

Just one disappointment from me: the liner notes. The booklet looks like it was rushed. Pity.

Dai Woosnam

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