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VARIOUS ARTISTS "Scottish Voices" Topic Records TSCD703
VARIOUS ARTISTS "Irish Voices"
Topic Records TSCD702

More re-released material from the caverns of Topic Records. These two CDs contain a wealth of material from some fine singers, some who have passed on, some who are still recording and performing and some who aren't being heard or seen enough.

Not all the songs are from the tradition but are fairly and squarely of or born of the tradition. The same can be said of the singers. Jeannie Robertson, Sean MacDonnchadha, Joe Heaney, Tom Lenihan, Sarah Makem, Lizzie Higgins and Paddy Tunney are all firmly traditional. Len Graham, Ian Manuel, John Lyons, Frank Harte, Dick Gaughan, Norman Kennedy, Gordeana McCulloch, Ewan MacColl, Archie Fisher and Andy Irvine have all, to varying degrees, based and built their styles and pool of songs along traditional lines.

Good selections of songs and styles and so nice to hear some of these singers again, even nicer to hear more. Some of the original recordings from which these CDs were compiled are well worth releasing as a complete item, as are many more classic but long deleted albums. Still, there's always the next batch of releases to look forward to, till then I'll enjoy these.

Peter Fairbairn

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This album was reviewed in Issue 22 of The Living Tradition magazine.