week finds Alasdair Fraser in Texas,
appearing this Thursday, June 6,
at the Cactus
Cafe in Austin, and making
his annual appearance at the Texas Scottish
Festival in Arlington at the weekend
(June 7-9). Alasdair will
be accompanied by Natalie Haas on
cello on this trip, and during several
concert and festival appearances over
the summer. (See schedule below.)
Alasdair, Natalie and renowned Scottish dance pianist Muriel
Johnstone have just completed recording the music
for the second CD in our Legacy
of the Scottish Fiddle series. The
trio blends gorgeously on renditions of 18th century
Scottish music, featuring dance tunes to which Robert
Burns wrote lyrics, and other melodies popular during
Burns' day. Look for the release of Legacy
of the Scottish Fiddle, Volume Two this fall!
Our latest release, Skyedance Live in Spain,
now also available from Scotland's Greentrax label,
continues to attract critical acclaim.
alone are a formidable proposition;
add heavyweight Spanish guests in
the form of Asturian piper José Manuel
Tejedor, Galician singer Mercedes
Peón, Basque accordionist Kepa
Junkera, Latin Grammy nominee Hevia (midi
bagpipes), Joxan Goikoetxea (accordion), Mikel
Laboa (vocals) and Oreka TX (txalaparta)
and the result is out of this world.
This album is the result of a nine-year,
two-way love affair between violinist
Alasdair Fraser and the country of
Spain culminating in a series of
three live concerts in October 2000,
and every note of it celebrates
a musical marriage made in heaven.
The keyword is passion: instruments, voices,
words, spirit. From start to finish superb
musicianship, powerful emotional complexity, exuberance.
The recording is dedicated to inter-cultural collaboration
and it's that at its best. Standout tracks in a
standout album: Mercedes Peon's heart-stoppingly
beautiful Marabilla; Stoney Run in
which Eric Rigler's pipes, the Basque txalaparta
(a wooden instrument played by two people with
mallets) and Peter Maund's percussion run
a Celtic-jazz riot with fiddle, flute and bass; Paul
Machlis' Basque-flavoured Donostia,
opening with the strange, magical sound of duetting
Asturian and Uilleann pipes; Alasdair Fraser's
rich, majestic, soaring Theme For Scotland;
Cries And Shrieks Of Woe, a wooden flute solo
from Chris Norman; The Spark, a mad
romp from the full weight of Skyedance with Hevia's
Asturian pipes and Joxan Goikoetxea's accordion...it's
hard to stop.
The 8+ minute finale gives full rein to uproarious
high-energy party-pieces. And the production
is superb - you can't better the combination of
a storming live performance with an excellent mix
from the desk. The explosion of superlatives
in this review is unavoidable. I've started
measuring albums in levels of Grin Factor lately.
This one is off the scale.
Review by Mel McClellan, May 2002
Information is current as of 06/01/02.
We recommend contacting the information
number provided or Culburnie Records
to confirm details. Performances are
concerts unless otherwise noted.
for your support! Hope to see you
P.O. Box 219, Nevada City, CA 95959 USA