Clandestine

Clandestine Sampler

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For those who enjoy Highland piping, there are some prime examples on the Clandestine Sampler. Now, granted, bagpipe music is something people tend to either love or loathe -- very few listeners are indifferent to it. So those who love it are invited to harken, while those who don't may prefer to stick to the ballad-style vocal songs on this album. That being said, E.J. Jones is a very skilled and experienced piper whose playing is a key feature on several of the instrumentals. Every song on this album merits listening, and some tracks are outstanding. "Bush Reels" and "Lucy Cassidy" are both well-balanced and vibrant instrumentals, progressing smoothly from solo pipes to start, then into guitar, fiddle, and hand percussion. Gregory McQueen's expressive fiddle playing is a strong element on both of these. "The Haunting" is a two-part medley, beginning with bagpipes solo, then melding into an elegant mesh with fiddle, percussion, and guitar. To those with ancestors from Scotland, or a love of Celtic music, the sound is stirring -- another noteworthy performance as well. "Peggy" is a lyrical example of Clandestine's interweaving of instrumentals, from sultry guitar to soulful fiddle, subtle percussion and flute, and vocal harmonies by Jennifer Hamel and Emily Dugas. This one is absolutely gorgeous. How well the casual listener will relate to this album may depend on whether or not bagpipes are to their taste. Those with a preference for the instrument will enjoy it heartily. Meanwhile, the exquisite vocals will appeal to both casual and regular listeners. Definitely recommended for fans of Celtic music as a positive introduction to this talented group.

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