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Kevin Macleod - "Springwell" - Greentrax CDTRAX178

Springwell basks in the glory that is the Celtic acoustic guitar. This album is both for the connoisseur and layman alike. I must admit to an unfamiliarity regarding Kevin's musical background, however spells playing with The Occasionals, and on Freeland Barbour's Northlins, have clearly stood him in good stead on this, his first solo excursion.

With the greatest respect to Kevin, it was the list of musicians he's assembled to join him on Springwell that first caught my eye. Alec Finn, and Frankie Gavin of De Dannan, Malcolm Jones, and Freeland Barbour of the Occasionals, and to complete the roll call John Martin, from the Tannerhill Weavers. With the aid of an abundance of guitars, 9 in total, ranging from a 1922 Gibson mandolin, to a 1992 electric tenor banjo, Kevin steers us with great skill through his interpretations of various Scottish fiddle, and bagpipe tunes.

What makes Springwell a delight for the listener is the sheer joy, which Kevin obviously gets from playing these instruments, and that comes across in the infectious nature of the music. As the artist says "It's a fresh look at Scottish traditional music, with swing, ring and drive in every note".

This may be Kevin's first solo recording, however I'm sure it'll not be his last.

Keith Whitham

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This album was reviewed in Issue 36 of The Living Tradition magazine.