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The Flowers of Edinburgh is the collective name for a bunch of singers and musicians who have blossomed on the Capital's music scene over the past few years. Some are natural Scottish varieties and others have been transplanted from as far away as County Tyrone, Rochdale and even the USA, but this album captures them at a live concert from Edinburgh's - well, what else could it be? - Shoots'n'Roots Festival last April.

With members of bands such as Keep It Up, Deaf Shepherd, Cornerhouse, Shooglenifty and Smalltalk and individual singers of the calibre of Elspeth Cowie and Jim Malcolm, quality is assured and there's enough variation from the participants to keep the listener interested.

Indeed, that's an understatement. There are more than thirty artists on the album and the choice of material and combinations of performers - no, they don't play all together all the time - is often surprising. Examples of this are a traditional song "She's Like the Swallow" beautifully sung by John Morran accompanied by Charlotte Petersen on harp; a set of tunes from fiddlers four Russell Hunter, Eilidh Shaw, Simon Bradley and Angus Grant and another fine set from the unusual combination of Mairi Campbell and Iain MacInnes on fiddle and small pipes.

The Flowers have decided that Edinburgh is the session capital of Europe and this album shows that the traditional music garden is in very fine shape indeed with genetical modification conspicuously absent and the old virtues of skill, knowledge and enthusiasm getting their just reward. It's blooming good.

Alan McIntosh Brown

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This album was reviewed in Issue 35 of The Living Tradition magazine.