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Tartan Tapes CDTT1001

"Trip to Scotland" has thirty tunes which all take their names from places around Scotland and although most of the tunes range from the familiar to the well known, I'd be hard pressed to name more than six or seven. Although in this I'm maybe not alone. The bonnie river whose banks and braes were so chastised by Robert Burns is the Doon and flows through South Ayrshire and not, as Hamish would have us believe, Doune, just north of Stirling. The air to which Burns' song was set is in fact called "The Caledonian Hunt's Delight". Other titles included on the "Trip to Scotland" are "Flowers of Edinburgh", "Kelso Races", "Farewell to Fuinary", "Glasgow Hornpipe", "Spootiskerry", "Morag of Dunvegan", "Pennan Den" and "Stones of Stenness".

It is not revealed whose heads are beneath the blue bonnets but much fine playing of whistles, fiddle, cauld wind pipes, guitar, concertina and bodhran can be heard although not all the tunes "hang together". The settings are from the folk music tradition and to my ear contained echoes from earlier bands like The Clutha, with the use of the pipes, and the jaunty swagger and syncopated guitar of The Bairns.

"Trip to Scotland" is released with an eye toward the tourist market as well and is certainly a welcome change from all that tartan swathed fiddled and accordion nonsense.

Peter Fairbairn

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This album was reviewed in Issue 24 of The Living Tradition magazine.