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RIONA WHYTE - Bunachas

RIONA WHYTE - Bunachas
Watercolour Music WCMCD046

Traditional music at its best has a sense of place, and this is certainly true of Bunachas (‘foundation’ or ‘ancestry’ in Scots Gaelic). Mod Gold Medallist Riona Whyte is from Morven, Argyll, a region with a proudly individual identity in culture and song. Riona’s own love for her home and its songs is writ large, and she has produced a beautifully presented collection of 13 songs. Each song has personal connections: the lullaby Dèan Bà Bà, Mo Leanabh and the praise song for Lismore, Mo Shoraidh Do’n Eilean remind Riona of her two grandmothers. This is definitely a family affair: her son composed a tune setting for Donald ‘Ruadh’ Mackinnon’s poem A Mhorbhairne Ghlas nan Tulaichean, her daughter and mother join her on vocals on one track. Riona’s research has unearthed some wonderful little-heard songs, though she also isn’t afraid to cover Runrig or sing a Gaelic translation of Wayfaring Stranger.

Riona’s richly mature voice adds depth and definition to warmly restrained backing from a battalion of musicians the calibre of Mary Ann Kennedy, Joy Dunlop and Phil Cunningham. Quality of expression and feeling are foremost and, like an aromatic perfume, the effects leave a lasting trace. A profoundly rooted and richly resonant listen.

Clare Button


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This album was reviewed in Issue 95 of The Living Tradition magazine.