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CAIRDEAS - The Thinner Line

CAIRDEAS - The Thinner Line
Cairdeas Records CA102CD

Cairdeas have been performing as a trio for some four years now, although you would think it had been a lot longer from the well-honed performance on this, their second CD.

The band line-up is Iain Anderson, fiddle and vocal; Colin Ramage, guitar, mandolin and lead vocal; and Neil Paterson, Highland bagpipes, Scottish small pipes, whistle, guitar and vocal; and they are joined by Gemma Donald on piano.  The ensemble sound is nicely balanced to tackle a range of material from rumbustious tune sets through to the poignant Dolina Morrison Of Ness, which Colin composed in memory of his late mother-in-law.

There’s a good sprinkling of other material written by band members, from Neil’s Tribute for the men and women of the Scottish Regiments to Colin’s title track, which reminds us that an awful lot of our lives are spent walking various thin lines between choices; and his Were Ye Awa O’er The Moor, which challenges some of the lionisation of Bonnie Prince Charlie.

The tune sets draw from a range of sources, traditional, modern and self-penned, and the overall mixture all comes together seamlessly, giving a good “live” feel to a studio album, which is no bad thing indeed, so hats off to Stuart Duncan for the engineering work involved in that too.

They also have a fine knack of interspersing tunes between song verses to add interest, which makes the final product a real pleasure to listen to.

Gordon Potter

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This album was reviewed in Issue 89 of The Living Tradition magazine.