Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Folk, World Music, New Age, Pop
This gang of Scots broke a lot of barriers, paving the way for the overwrought synth pop of Enya that was just up the road. Hebridean vocalist Karen Matheson is the prize of this band, and this record is her shining moment... more »
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This gang of Scots broke a lot of barriers, paving the way for the overwrought synth pop of Enya that was just up the road. Hebridean vocalist Karen Matheson is the prize of this band, and this record is her shining moment. The disc opens with Matheson singing a traditional "waulking song," a thundering vocal piece with drums and a wash of keyboard. She is soulful on "The Fisherman's Dream," perhaps a bit too lush on Dick Gaughan's "Both Sides the Tweed," and delivers a piece of traditional "mouth music" with a modern gusto. Most of the instrumental tunes are more vibrant than their later recordings. Accordions, fiddles, whistles, recorders, guitars, and bouzoukis more than balance the occasionally overbearing electric bass and synthesizers, maintaining a lively contemporary feel and a traditional power. --Louis Gibson
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A great collection of mostly traditional Celtic material
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When my wife and I returned from a delightful trip to Ireland a few years ago, I started looking for work by traditional Celtic bands to add to my CD collection. I have found three bands that rise above the rest - Altan, Deanta, and Capercaillie - and, while the members of all three bands are fine musicians, Capercaillie is blessed with the haunting voice of Karen Matheson. I have read some criticism about Capercaillie's forays into non-traditional work on their later albums and, indeed, there are two such songs on "Sidewaulk". Personally, I like the mixture. Like, many Capercaillie fans, I prefer the vocal tracks, but haven't heard many bands whose reels and jigs I like better."
A truly sublime recording
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I was hooked on this album from the very first song, "Alasdair Mhic Cholla Ghasda" a beautiful, spinning reel. After that, the haunting "Fisherman's Dream" could almost sound like a country-western song. "Fosgail an Dorus" is another traditional gem that makes you want to get up and dance, and the album ends with the transcendent "Oh Mo Dhuthaich". Karen Matheson's crystalline vocals and the sprightly, joyful instrumentation make this a record that never gets old."
Some exciting traditional Scottish tunes, but marred by synt
Christopher Culver | 04/07/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"In the late 1980s Capercaille quickly distinguished themselves as the foremost Scottish ensemble for traditional tunes and Scottish Gaelic songs. SIDEWAULKS was one of their early successes. The title puns on waulking songs, a genre meant to accompany the beating of cloth. The rousing opening "Alasdair Mhic Cholla Ghasda" is a fine example of such songs. Lead singer Karen Matheson has stunning enunciation. The reels and jigs are performed with great confidence. Green Linnet has nicely provided the lyrics, with translation of the Scottish Gaelic materials.
It is a pity that such a talented ensemble had to bring in synthesizers. While authentic folk music is timeless, synthesizers just make an album embarassingly dated in the 1980s. If Capercaille had done like their Irish counterparts Altan and stuck to acoustic instruments at this stage, SIDEWAULKS would have held up better over time."