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Tyree Records TYREE09CD

The foremost Scottish folk band of their ilk return with their sixth studio album, showcasing the individual musical talents of the now eight-piece line-up. Alec Dalglish contributes five new songs, all of which fit snugly alongside the tune sets, mostly penned by his bandmates. Being the nearest Scotland currently has to a stadium folk outfit, it’s only right and proper that the songs and tunes here are intended for big occasions. Hold On and Take My Hand are destined to become crowd anthems at festivals wherever the band perform. Gordon Duncan’s Trip To Modera is handled with great verve and drives along nicely. The only other source material not self-generated is the song Borderline by Glasgow’s Alex Wayt, which is another ‘big’ song. The newest member, Scott Wood, contributes pipes and whistles that compliment Martin Gillespie perfectly. Now having two pipers and two box players allows the dance element to be built on expertly. The backbone of the music, though, is the musical partnership between Fraser West on drums and Jodie Bremaneson on bass who shine throughout, while Alan Scobie on keys holds it all together setting the scene for the lead instruments perfectly. My only disappointment is that fiddler Craig Espie is overshadowed in the mix, apart from on his own Mile High set.

Live Forever, which has provided the soundtrack to Scottish Tourism’s ‘Wild About Argyll’ campaign, is another storming number. The delicate Soraidh Slan, courtesy of Martin Gillespie, offers a perfect counterpoint to the lively numbers. A killer album.

Grem Devlin

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This album was reviewed in Issue 125 of The Living Tradition magazine.