Phamie Gow

Lammermuir

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AllMusic Review by

One would never describe Lammermuir as a typical Celtic song cycle, whatever that is. Instead of sporting the usual jigs and reels, the album draws one's attention to the subtle shifts of tone and mood within this carefully composed group of songs. Written by Phamie Gow, the ebb and flow of Lammermuir suggests an extended film score or a pleasant Scottish symphony. A number of guests join Phamie Gow, including fiddler Alasdair Fraser, uilleann pipe player Eric Rigler, and vocalists Patsy Seddon and Mairi Campbell. The success of this project rests upon elegantly built arrangements, allowing the multiple instruments to create intricate textures. In "The Bride," a cello underpins the lead fiddle while a clarsach, or Scottish harp, adds another layer to this beautifully rendered piece. When listening to the enticing blend of harp, oboe, and cello on "Thackie Hirsel," it becomes clear that the choice of instruments has been scrupulously thought out. The music on Lammermuir is so serene, in fact, that only the clapping between selections lets the listener know it was recorded live at the Royal Glasgow Concert Hall before an appreciative audience. Combining classical and Celtic influences, Phamie Gow has crafted a cohesively warm album filled with lovingly performed music.

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