THE CAST - Greengold

THE CAST - Greengold
Greentrax CDTRAX319

The Cast are without doubt one of Scotland’s best-kept secrets especially if you live south of the Tweed. In existence as a duo for in excess of fifteen years, Mairi Campbell and Dave Francis are hardly prolific when it comes to producing CDs, Greengold being only their third offering. But what they lack in quantity is certainly made up in quality.

Mairi has one of those voices which sends shivers down your back, showing her obvious love of traditional music, although Dave and Mairi have written quite a few of the songs here. There are songs by Burns and a refreshingly good version of High Germany from the singing of Phoebe Smith. Greengold opens with Smile or Cry, which sets the scene for what is to come-beautiful singing accompanied by Dave’s sympathetic guitar, whilst Mairi provides haunting instrumental breaks on strings. It was The Cast who first introduced me to what Auld Lang Syne should sound like. The Burns songs here also get their treatment, allowing the meaning to come out, and sound fresh and alive, something that is not always true in other versions of his songs. The whole album is highly polished, their versions of traditional material is true to the sources and singers from where it came from.

I cannot recommend Greengold enough. A word of praise should go to Jack Evans for producing a very relaxed album, which shows the quality of their performance. I had the honour to review their first offering all those years ago when I think I said something along the lines that it could be summed up in one word. The same is true of this.  The word?  Brilliant.

Dave Beeby

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The Listening Post is the CD mailorder service of The Living Tradition magazine.
This album was reviewed in Issue 76 of The Living Tradition magazine.