Retro Review / Canterach (2001)

Canterach were a Scottish trad band featuring players who had been and who were to become top level musicians in the field; this is, as far as I know, the band’s only album – a shame, because it’s so delightful and one of my enduring favorites.

It’s basically Scottish trad but with many upgrades, so to say. The very first sounds of the album come from a synth and (possibly) drum sequencer, promptly joined by pipes and fiddle and a pulsating bass drum. Some of the songs, mostly the ballads, are performed in the traditional style but most tunes come with a very well done combination and folk instruments and electronics. Some are reminiscent of Capercaillie‘s Celtic crossover and some are kin to later Celtic/electro fusions like Niteworks and Peatbog Faeries.

A jewel of an album in any case: grooving and robust, lyrical and nuanced, always rich in arrangements and very well performed to boot. An excellent gateway album to those pop/rock folks interested in Celtic trad but not yet familiar with the genre. Highly recommended listening.

Canterach is available on Spotify and iTunes / Apple Music

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