Various Artists

The Rough Guide to Scottish Music

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The Rough Guide to Music series has long served as a sort of Cliff's Notes to a particular artist, genre, or region. On The Rough Guide to Scottish Music, the focus is placed on the country's contemporary folk scene, encompassing its many hybrids and offshoots. Ranging from more traditional fare sung in gaelic, like Kathleen MacInnes's "Òran Dhomhnaill Phàdraig (Song for Donald Peter)" to the folk-influenced rock of Glaswegian indie band Admiral Fallow, the Rough Guide offers a modern look at a country with a musical history that spans millennia. Fiddles and flutes are well-represented throughout many of the more traditionally minded selections, but there are quite a few unique, pop-oriented songs like Alasdair Whyte's "Tuathal" and AMWWF's "Pigeon Song," which use Scotland's native music as more of a stepping-off point for creating their own distinct brands. In addition to the 16-song compilation, there is also a bonus disc that solely features the music of Scottish traditional folk group Cliar.

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