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VARIOUS ARTISTS - "Ceol Tacsi" - Vertical Records VERTCD052

"Tacsi" is the title of a well-established Gaelic language arts programme which has appeared on television in Scotland over a number of years, and one of the delights of the programme is always the traditional music feature. It's not sour grapes (honest!) when I say that the artistic directors of such programmes get access to artists - and budgets - which make Club and Festival organisers green with envy, but it's true.

No point in having resources like this available and not using them, and here on one recording we have some 75 minutes of outstanding musicianship and singing from such a range of performers that it really would be invidious to single out any of them. Suffice it to say that we get a comprehensive mixture of traditional Scots and Irish Gaelic, modern crossover styles, established groups, one-off combinations - from New Zealand to the Basque country and all stops in between. If this challenges some staid notions of what is "Celtic", then it's in the same spirit as Glasgow's "Celtic Connections", and just think how successful that's been.

An excellent sampler not only in terms of performing standards but also of Donald Shaw's production abilities, and if it encourages a few more people to tune in to the next television series, then so much the better.

'S toil leam seo, 'se ceannach mhath a th'ann.

Gordon Potter

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This album was reviewed in Issue 38 of The Living Tradition magazine.