An instrumental album with some atmospheric voice-overs, In Praise Of Home is hugely enjoyable and impressive. This third album from Rura focuses on pipes, fiddle and flute, and a thumping back line from Adam Brown. All the material is written by the band, and it's splendid stuff. Rattling pipe tunes The First Day and Forged, smooth fiddle on Malice and Catriona's, eerie flute for I'll Never Forget and Horizons: each track is something different, but the arrangements bring in the whole band and build to a distinctive sound.
The theme of home, old or new, is carried by the stories of a highlander returning to his familiar village, and of a Jamaican immigrant coming to Scotland half a century ago: both are told in their own words, and set to compelling music. The final track features wordless vocals from the band, and again conjures up a feeling of expectation, of journeying, of a destination in sight. Rura has put together a CD which is both traditional and contemporary, toe-tapping and thought-provoking. I highly recommend a listen to In Praise Of Home, and the band is also on tour, so see if you can catch them live.