‘The Hebridean Sessions’ from Dàimh - classic dance tunes and songs(November 16, 2015)
There are some albums, and this is one of them, that utterly captivate with their absorbing presence. They have the power to move you from wherever you are, to stop whatever you’re doing and pull your entire focus on to themselves. ‘The Hebridean sessions’ from Dàimh, those purveyors of classically inspiring Highland music, offers a wealth of tradition with classic dance tunes and songs recorded at various live acoustic gigs across the islands of Mull, Skye and South Uist … and if the objective was to generate a ‘live’ feel then Dàimh have hit it square on.
The opening enthusiasm in the quickstep and reels of ‘Lochiel’s Away’ gives way to the softly served ‘Dhannsamaid le Aileen’ and gently seductive ‘O fair a-nall am botal’ both delivered by Ellen’s crystal-clear voice. For lovers of a spritely step, the fervour returns with strathspeys, reels and jigs with ‘Bob an lochan’, ‘Pattern Day Jigs’ and ‘Harris dance’ and if simply listening to luscious songs, whether you have the Gaelic or not, then such delights as ‘Gur e mo ghille dubh dhonn’ and ‘Oran an Tombaca’ are for you.
‘The Hebridean Sessions’ is released on the Goat Island Music label and is available from www.daimh.net … and I strongly suggest you get yourself a copy because it will do you good. The cover also provides a series of little icons that identify whether you’re listening to music with content for dancing, drinking, courting and heartbreak among other pastimes.
Dàimh are Angus MacKenzie (border pipes, whistles) Gabe Mcvarish (fiddle) Ross Martin (guitar) Murdo Cameron (mandola, accordion) and Ellen MacDonald (Gaelic song).
Review: Tim Carroll