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Gun Sireadh, Gun Iarraidh (Without Seeking, Without Asking)

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Album Review

In the contemporary world of dwindling traditions, Christine Primrose offers a full dose of the real thing. Her high, emotive voice, singing in her native tongue, Gaelic, places her in stark contrast to the latest ethereal-voiced Celtic performers. Primrose opens the album with a simple a cappella version of "The Head of Gruinart Sands/Heather from Rona," the tale of an archer and the arrow that slays Sir Lachlan MacLean. Harp accompaniment highlights "The Dark Swarthy Lad," a love song dating back to at least the late 18th century. The delicate colorings, along with slight vibrato of Primrose's voice on songs like "The Young Man With the Golden Yellow Hair," lead to rich interpretations of these traditional pieces. These songs seem to reside within her, as though she was a sieve for these ancient events. The choice to sing "Shall I Ever Return" and many other songs a cappella also connects her to older ballad singers like Jeannie Robertson. Thankfully, the lyrics have also been written in English for the occasional person who has no earthly idea how to read Gaelic. Without Seeking, Without Asking will appeal to lovers of British Isles music that keeps fully within the tradition. It is also a fine place to introduce oneself to the lovely art of Christine Primrose. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., Rovi


Born: 17 February 1952

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Kinnaird (b. 30 April 1949, Edinburgh, Scotland) and Primrose (b. 17 February 1952, Carloway, Isle Of Lewis, Scotland), are known for their Gaelic-influenced folk music. Kinnaird studied the cello from the age of seven, and the Scottish harp in her teens. In 1978 she recordedThe Harp Key, the first record of the Scottish harp, after researching old manuscripts. This came out when fiddle music was particularly popular in folk circles, and the harp was often employed more as an instrument purely...
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Gun Sireadh, Gun Iarraidh (Without Seeking, Without Asking), Christine Primrose
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