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Album Review

After two decades of touring and recording, the Tannahill Weavers show no signs of slowing down. Cullen Bay, located on the Moray Firth Coast in the North East of Scotland, is the group's eighth proper record, and does justice to the high cliffs and sweeping vistas of its namesake. Beginning with "The Standard on the Braes o' Mar," a rousing song of the Jacobites, the group plow through 11 more ballads, reels, airs, and strathspeys like a band half their age. Highland piper Iain MacInnes, whose work on the group's previous outing Dancing Feet showed a bit of trepidation, comes into his own on outstanding tracks like "The Fiddler/The Fiddler's Jig/Jenny Dang the Weaver/The Reel of Tulloch," and the atmospheric "Kintail." The boys show off their rich voices on the a cappella "Aikendrum," and the charming love story "A Night Visitor's Song," proving once again that they're not just a dance band. Cullen Bay closes with "Braw Burn the Bridges," a lovely ballad written by vocalist/guitarist Roy Gullane that laments loved ones left on distant shores, nicely putting the cork back into one of the Tannahill Weavers finest vintages.


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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