Link to Living Tradition Homepage





VARIOUS ARTISTS - Songs Of Separation

VARIOUS ARTISTS - Songs Of Separation
Navigator Records NAVIGATOR094P

A stellar cast assembled on the Isle of Eigg to record this collection of 12 traditional and self-penned songs which are, in theory, related to separation, although in a few cases the link is tenuous. The album was conceived by Jenny Hill, who co-produced it with Andy Bell (the latter seemingly the only dude involved in the project). Eliza Carthy contributes Cleaning The Stones, which is brilliant. Hannah James shines on Poor Man’s Lamentation, and Hazel Askew is wonderful on London Lights. Most of the tracks are ensemble pieces, so the overall effect is of a biggish band with multiple vocalists. Karine Polwart introduces the CD with Echo Mocks The Corncrake, with considerable aplomb, although her lead on the Unst Boat Song is probably her pinnacle appearance here, and Mary Macmaster leads the group in a Gaelic Sad The Climbing, followed by a complementary Sad Am I. The CD closes with Road Less Travelled, featuring Karine Polwart, Kate Young and Rowan Rheingans, which is triumphant.

It’s more than obvious that a lot of fun was had by all, and the, at time vague, connection with the theme aside, the album deserves to sell by the bucketload. Interestingly, the entire recording process was filmed and shared with audiences on a daily basis, and I wonder if there’s scope for an accompanying DVD or perhaps may a TV documentary be in the pipeline? My only real gripe is the minimalist packaging, but perhaps the review copy is less extensive than the final released version (one would hope). Still a wee cracker of an album.

Grem Devlin

Secure On-line mailorder service
Buy this CD online from The Listening Post
The Listening Post is the CD mailorder service of The Living Tradition magazine.
This album was reviewed in Issue 112 of The Living Tradition magazine.