‘Highland Strands’ from Kevin Macleod (and friends) - ceaselessly uplifting(August 10, 2014)
Certain things are as constant as the sunrise, the enduring attraction of lovingly-delivered Scottish traditional music is one of them. ‘Highland Strands’ from Kevin Macleod (plus a few good friends) is a fine example, played by musicians rightly classed as masters of their art. The relaxed and easy way they deliver the mix of music on this album belies the dexterity and skill that clearly goes into its creation.
The album takes a wide-spanning turn through a selection of reels, waltzes, jigs and marches, and along the way covers some of the best traditional music and includes influences from Scotland, Ireland and America. Ancient music rubs shoulders with newer tunes and the fusion is seamless. Hardly surprising, when you consider the artists involved and performance pedigrees that include Shooglenifty, De Danann, Ossian and Tannahill Weavers.
With Kevin playing mandolin, bouzouki, cittern and tenor guitars, are Luke Plumb (bouzouki, mandolin, tenor guitar) Alec Finn (bouzouki, guitar) John Martin (fiddle) Matheu Watson (guitar) Tim Jones (mandolin) and Phil Smillie (flute, whistle).
Music like this is ceaselessly uplifting – listen to ‘Highland Strands’ - I’m certain you’ll agree.
Reviewer: Dan Holland