Lori Gordon

Bletherings From a Music Obsessed Mind

Eilean Mòr – “35 Degrees South”

eilean mor

To describe this Australian band in simple terms, you could say they are a Scots Trad fusion band, but there is nothing simple about their music or their debut recording. At the forefront is singer/songwriter Ruth Lee Martin, who sings in Gaelic and English. There are many talented Gaelic singers out there and  I think Ruth is one of the best outside of Scotland & Ireland. Joining Ruth are guitarist Bill Grose and double-bass player Bill Williams, along with newcomers Ed Rodrigues on percussion and Catherine Fraser, who is considered one of Australia’s finest Scottish fiddlers.

The majority of 35 Degrees South is traditional material, which includes rare Gaelic songs written by Scottish immigrants sent to Australia during the Highland Clearances.  Pieces like “Fac’ Thu Na Feidh” and “B’eoghainn” are suberbly executed. The instrumentalists have the chance to “stretch their legs” on two sets of invigorating tunes that make it impossible to sit still.  Added to the mix are three original songs penned by Ruth, delivered in a silky, jazz-tinged voice. The thing that sets this recording apart is that Eilean Mòr is not afraid to infuse the traditional music with jazz, blues, and other contemporary styles. “Can Ye Sew Cushions”  is a fantastic example of that marriage and is definitely the stand out track on this album.

To learn more about Eilean Mòr, visit their official website or their MySpace page.

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August 17, 2009 - Posted by | Album Reviews, Celtic, Traditional | , , , , , ,

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