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Lorimer Records LORCD07 

With their fifth studio album, The Outside Track has built on its earlier successes and delivered a majestic collection of songs and tunes that demonstrates what a tight act the band is, musically. The tried and tested blend of fiddle, accordion, harp, guitar, flute and whistle, augmented with step dance live, gives The Outside Track the breadth to tackle ballads and tunes with equal grace and style.

From their respectful arrangement of O’Carolan’s Neillí Pluincéad (Eleanor Plunkett) to The Banks Of Sweet Dundee there is an interesting variety of material here. The six tune sets are all top-notch examples of their now fully established style. Teresa Horgan, who leads on flute and whistles, also sings lead vocals on the key ballads – and sings with an infectious lilt. Fiona Black’s accordion playing is understated but vital throughout. New guitarist, Michael Ferrie, is a welcome addition and plays sympathetically along with the lead instruments. Mairi Rankin on fiddle, from the esteemed Rankin family in Canada, and Edinburgh’s own Ailie Robertson on harp complete the line-up and collectively the effect is more than pleasing. I’m happy to see that this line-up will be touring to support the album, although only US, Canadian and German dates are announced at the time of writing.

Definitely worth seeking out if they appear near you. In the meantime, this album is certainly worth a punt.

Grem Devlin

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This album was reviewed in Issue 128 of The Living Tradition magazine.