Link to Living Tradition Homepage







Càirdeas (pronounced to rhyme with Tardis) is a trio of top Scottish musicians with considerable pedigrees, who originally got round to performing together as a group in 2006 and have been delighting audiences ever since with their genially professional approach and accommodating stage presence.  Comprising fiddler Iain Anderson, piper/whistle player Neil Paterson and guitar/mando supremo Colin Ramage, this is clearly a crack team who can give nothing less than keenly accomplished playing to suit any occasion – and so it proves on this disc.  The menu comprises six well-assembled (if quite straightforward) traditional tune-sets, all expertly managed and fierily played, between which are sandwiched five songs.  To be honest, I felt the latter to be an unadventurous choice, mostly rather well-trodden repertoire items – Queen Of All Argyll, Twa Recruitin’ Sergeants, Both Sides The Tweed etc – and although the Càirdeas renditions are perfectly proficient (Colin sings them well too) they don’t stand out from an already crowded field and tend to fall short of adding anything genuinely new as interpretations.  And I really couldn’t see the point of including a bog-standard sing-along run-through of Dirty Old Town.

The sticking-point with this disc is that I came away feeling pleasantly entertained but comparatively under whelmed, in that these musicians are capable of so much more than this.  Having said that, there’s no way the playing or singing can be faulted, and there’s ample commitment and stylish musicality on display – so there’s no doubting the disc will please those listeners seeking a modest (if in the final analysis mildly unchallenging) record of Scottish (mostly traditional) fare.

David Kidman

Secure On-line mailorder service
Buy this CD online from The Listening Post
The Listening Post is the CD mailorder service of The Living Tradition magazine.
This album was reviewed in Issue 82 of The Living Tradition magazine.