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Arnish Light

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Album Review

The 16th album from this distinguished Scottish folk group is, thankfully, more of what one has long come to expect: expertly rendered medleys of instrumental dance tunes alternating with songs that feature the band's trademark richly arranged harmonies. As usual, listeners will enjoy the instrumental sets to the extent that they enjoy the sound of the highland pipes, which are featured prominently in the arrangements; the band's new piper, a young virtuoso named Colin Melville, is a brilliant player, and he brings both tremendous chops and inventive taste to tunes like "Arnish Light" and "Fear a'Choire" and to a drop-dead gorgeous set of jigs that includes Phil Smillie's lovely "The Bell Rock," "The Fittie Boatman," and "Bessie Brown." But as always, the album's real highlights are the vocal numbers — traditional songs like "Lassie Wi' the Lintwhite Locks" and "Ower the Hills and Faur Awa'" and bandleader Roy Gullane's lovely original composition "The Rose Amang the Thorn." This is yet another solid contribution to the Tannies' brilliant catalog.


Genre: World

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The Tannahill Weavers, who started as a band in the late '60s, occupy a unique position among the groups on the Scottish folk scene. Stalwarts Roy Gullane and Phil Smillie have surrounded themselves with a rotating cast of great musicians. Their music, which uses the Highland bagpipe, flute, and fiddle as its melodic core, is tighter, more intense, and harder-driven than the Battlefield Band, Silly Wizard, or their other contemporaries. Despite their mostly acoustic sound, they're the closest thing...
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Arnish Light, The Tannahill Weavers
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