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To the Moon

Capercaillie

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Album Review

Following in the footsteps of Secret People and Delirium, this album offers mainly original compositions with the inclusion of the occasional Gaelic song and instrumental. Karen Matheson's voice is the featured instrument, and she is again accompanied adeptly by Charlie McKeron on fiddle, Manus Lunny on bouzouki and guitar, John Saich on bass, and Donald Shaw on keyboards. A new accent was added to the mix with the introduction of piper Fred Morrison, who plays the Highland small pipes on four cuts. Davy Spillane (uilleann pipes) makes a guest appearance on "Ailein Duinn," which was originally performed by Capercaillie in the film Rob Roy. Although the objections from old-school Capercaillie fans are growing more faint with each release, muffled cries of "sellout" can still be heard in reference to songs like "Why Won't You Touch Me" and "Claire in Heaven," slick pop/rock pieces that the dissenters claim merely include traditional instruments in order to uphold a "false" integrity. The group, however, attributes their ongoing tendency toward fuller production and contemporary instrumentation to "natural musical progression."

Biography

Formed: Scotland

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '80s, '90s

The musical traditions of Scotland are fused with the dynamic drive and electronic instrumentation of contemporary music by Capercaillie (pronounced: Kap-ir-kay-lee). While their initial repertoire focused on traditional tunes collected from Christine Primrose, Flora MacNeill, and Na h'Oganaich, the group has increasingly incorporated modern influences. In a review of their 1999 album, To the Moon, Victor Arenas wrote, "It has been more than a decade of a constant evolution,...
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To the Moon, Capercaillie
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