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ANN GRAY "Shouting at Magpies" CDLDL 1288

It wouldn't take a Philadelphia lawyer to argue the case that the hottest place in the piping world is currently Canada. Simon Fraser University PB are the current World Champions, while their geographically distant brothers, the 78th Fraser Highlanders are undoubtedly the best concert Pipe Band in the world. Throw in the fact that Canadians are making a habit of winning the big solo prizes in Scotland and the case seems clear cut. If any further proof is needed then Ann Gray surely provides it. After winning a host of prizes in Canada she has produced a very well received first album and now builds on that reputation with her second.

"Shouting at Magpies", like Ann's first CD bristles with good piping. Ann plays both Highland and Smallpipes with the low whistle thrown in for effect (good effect). As is normal now a whole host of extras get cameo parts. The harp, violin and bodhran are now compulsory, but cello, Spanish guitar and didgeridoo are a little less common.. Most of the supporting cast is gainfully employed ,especially on Neil Gows Lament for his second wife. ccasionally Ann's desire to ring the changes runs aground, particularly on the Tea Set where the harp doesn't help the pipes at all. However such is the price of experimentation and it doesn't detract much from the CD. This CD confirms Ann's reputation as an exciting and inventive piper. Good as this CD is however, I suspect there is even better still to come, from this talented Canadian.

Chris MacKenzie

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