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TRAIL WEST - From The Sea To The City 

TRAIL WEST - From The Sea To The City 
Private Label TW01CD 

The title of this newest Trail West release refers to the journey undertaken, with varying degrees of willingness, by Gaels as they pursue educational and career opportunities. The band itself has moved on since its last album, with an extended line-up that now comprises Alain Campbell, guitar, whistles, vocals; Andrew Findlater, drums, percussion, vocals; Jonathan Gillespie, keyboard, bass guitar, vocals; Seonaidh Macintyre, whistles, Highland pipes, guitar, vocals; Allan J Nairn, guitars, bodhrán; and Ian Smith, piano accordion, vocals. There are also backing vocals from Lucy Doogan.

So, then, much more emphasis on the songs than before, without compromising on the muscular approach to the tune sets that we’ve heard in their earlier recordings. Jonathan and Seonaidh take the lead in the songs – both in Gaelic and English – which are sensitively accompanied. There’s also the nice touch of inserting tunes between verses here and there to tweak things along a bit. The songs themselves are well-balanced, with the light heartedness of Andy M Stewart’s Take Her In Your Arms to the Napoleonic travails of Óran an-tSaighdeir.

The ensemble sound of the band in the instrumental sets remains one of the liveliest on the scene today. This is a band to get dancers going, and then to keep them on their feet. With the re-balancing between songs and tune sets, this is a group who will easily have something for everyone in an evening’s performance, and who are great representatives of the modern Glasgow Gaelic musical community.

Gordon Potter

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