Eamon Doorley, Muireann Nic Amlaoibh, Julie Fowlis and Ross Martin ‘Dual’ (Machair) 4/5

This project was initiated by vocalists Julie Fowlis and Muireann Nic Amlaoibh and inspired by them both growing up in Gaelic-speaking communities, the former in North Uist and the latter in county Kerry, Ireland. In the case of Nic Amhlaoibh this is doubled by working for the Irish-language television channel TG4 that prides itself on championing traditional Irish music on the island of Ireland and further afield in its diaspora communities.

The music contained within celebrates and to an extent chronicles the very real historical musical links that exist between Ireland and the highlands of Scotland. As such it provides a fascinating insight into the connections that distinguished folk musicians such as Andy Irvine and Bert Jansch have frequently alluded to in their music. This is no better illustrated than on ‘Uist-Kerry Set: Bu chaomh leam bhith fuireach’ which includes a tune of Scottish music that was transported to West Kerry when Gaelic-speaking Scottish guards were stationed there. Bi-lingual lyrics enable one to better understand the storytelling quality of the Irish/Scots Gaelic language and above all it is the sheer lyricism of the musical exploration that shines through on this fine recording.

Tim Stenhouse