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VARIOUS ARTISTS "A Thistle And Shamrock Christmas Ceilidh"
Green Linnet GLCD 1208

Relax. The dreaded C-word is just an excuse for Green Linnet to put together a sampler chosen by Fiona Ritchie, whose US traddie radio programme gives us the thistle and shamrock of the title, although we do get John Renbourn playing "I Saw Three Ships" and an iffy "Auld Lang Syne" from the Tannahill Weavers. As you would expect from the pedigree in the Green Linnet stable - and from Fiona Ritchie's expertise - there's lots of goodies in here from the likes of Patrick Street, Milladoiro, Cherish the Ladies and Lunasa among others - seventeen tracks in all, although most of the material will be familiar to afficionados of the musicians represented. If the real point of samplers is to encourage people to go and hear (buy?) more material by the artists, then this should fit the bill nicely, but otherwise just enjoy it for what it is - a reasonably well-balanced collection of songs and tunes from top performers, well-packaged and produced.

Gordon Potter