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SKERRYVORE - Skerryvore

SKERRYVORE - Skerryvore
Tyree Records TYREE01CD

Skerryvore’s eponymously titled third album shows the rock/trad band consolidating old ground and setting out on new roads.  The group, led by singer and guitarist Alec Dalglish, cover a lot of ground on the eleven tracks on the album.  It starts with Path To Home which shares a style with Runrig’s more melodic numbers, while Simple Life could be a lost song from Lindisfarne, and includes a coda that manages to sound like both Simon and Garfunkel and KD Lang, whilst still maintaining Skerryvore’s own sonic fingerprints.

A number of instrumental tracks show the talents of Martin Gillespie on bagpipes and accordion, Daniel Gillespie on accordion, and fiddle player Craig Espie.  Gairm A Chuain (Call of the Sea) shows a slower side to the band’s sound, whilst Wit’s End would give Wolfstone a run for their money.  The touching ballad Smile in the Stars shows a gentler side to the band, with one of those melodic guitar solos you hope goes on for a lot longer than it does, whilst Angry Fiddler is a mish mash of techno brutality and Olympic standard musicianship - all funky, wah wah guitar, resonant, slap bass, and dextrous fiddle playing.  The closing song Home to Donegal is a live track that shows the popularity and following the band is slowly gaining, and judging by the evidence on this album, the group is set for the big-time, whatever that means these days.

Ben Macnair

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This album was reviewed in Issue 86 of The Living Tradition magazine.