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VARIOUS ARTISTS - "Celtic Connections The Album" Living Tradition LTCD 001

It is usually the case that a "promotional" album has at least one or two tracks that make you wince. Congratulations then to Celtic Connections and The Living Tradition for putting out a CD with not one binger in earshot, and very sweetly programmed too. We kick off with Ceolbeg's high octane rendition of Gordon Duncan's "Zito the Bubbleman" then slide into a quite lovely "Hills of Greenmore" from Dervish. I love the clear pure voices and the unforced natural style of singing that these young Irish lasses have and exactly the same quality is apparent in Deanta's knockout "Lakes of Pontchartrain".

Mind you, the Scottish women on display, Cathie-Anne MacPhee, Heather Heywood and Mairi Campbell, are also in cracking form. Add to this choice pieces from Brian McNeill, Dougie MacLean, The Gaugers, Aly Bain, Alasdair Fraser and a host of others. Season the mix with a charmer of a song and tune set from Cherish the Ladies, and top if with blessed memory of the enchanting flute of Frankie Kennedy leading Altan through "The Humours of Andytown". YES!

Sheena Wellington

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This album was reviewed in Issue 10 of The Living Tradition magazine.