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BRIAN  HEADHRA AND FIONA MACKENZIE - Tr

BRIAN HEADHRA AND FIONA MACKENZIE - Tr
Anam Communications CACD006

Twelve tracks, mostly in Gaelic, from this experienced duo, a mixture of traditional and original numbers (including some noted as words traditional, music new). The popular adjective of choice for the soundworld of the album is ‘rich’, although one might also describe it as warm or easy to listen to. The album’s sound derives from the use of electronic keyboards alongside acoustic guitars and other instruments, something that might still divide opinion. Co-producer and instrumental contributor, Mike Vass, is credited with “sound design”, implying that much effort has gone into the production.

I enjoyed the album very much, although I particularly liked the more intimate arrangements, such as the traditional Beannaich A Thriath Nam Flath Fial and Brian’s lovely Togamaid Bothan. The songs are an interesting selection, several with a spiritual theme, and one, Cauldron (composed by Fiona) that draws attention to secret biological warfare experiments off the coast of Lewis in 1952.

It’s worth noting that the recording has an Album of the Year (2018) nomination in the International Folk Music Awards organised by the Folk Alliance International, and, unless you are genuinely allergic to any use of synthesisers, you should give the album a hearing at the duo’s website.

www.oheadhra-mackenzie.com

Paul Mansfield


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This album was reviewed in Issue 128 of The Living Tradition magazine.