Review Archive

‘Tributaries 2’ by Tom Rennie - the enchantment continues

(November 18, 2013)

When Tom Rennie recorded the album Tributaries, he presented stirring, impassioned traditional Scottish melodies and created an intricate musical tapestry of sound. With his latest tomrennie2offering, ‘Tributaries 2’ – 500 years of Scottish Music for Guitar, Viola and Flute’, the enchantment continues and it’s no less arresting and captivating. Once more, Tom plays 6 and 12-string guitars and flute, again accompanied by Caitlyn Densmore on viola. And once more, this partnership creates a tender palliative to gradually bathe your ears and do wonders for your soul.

As in the previous album, the selection is varied, the ‘well-known’ and oft-played comfortably rub shoulders with the rare, precious and sometimes ignored. From the soothingly atmospheric ‘Lady Buccleugh's Lament’, first written down and published in the late 1500s (yet probably with a longer pedigree) through the crystal-clear sentiment of ‘Ye Banks and Braes’, to guitar and viola twinned in the singularly most exquisite version of ‘Peggy Gordon’ I’ve heard to date, this album is an enduring, thorough and complete treat. A stirring flute-led ‘Mingulay Boat Song’ gives way to the mournful sorrow of ‘Lowlands Away’, while through an expressive ‘Tramps and Hawkers’ your subsumed into a musical world you’ll not want to leave.

It’s said that instruments made of natural materials have locked inside them some of the innate alchemy that engendered their creation, if that’s so then Tom Rennie’s touch makes the instruments express that mystery. If you decide to buy any album this year buy this one, relieve and refresh your spirit.

Album release date: 1 December 2013 - Lydian Productions - you can find ‘Tributaries 2’ here:

Reviewer: Tim Carroll

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