The Tannahill Weavers

Leaving St. Kilda

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The Tannahill Weavers have never really made a weak album, and this one is far from weak, but their best albums all have one or two moments of emotional and musical transcendence, and there are not any such moments on Leaving St. Kilda. As usual, the songs are more exciting than the instrumental sets, which are generally dominated by the sound of the highland pipes and get to be just a bit much by the third or fourth tune in the set (though the gorgeous "St. Kilda Set" is a notable exception on this album). Leaving St. Kilda peaks at the end with a ravishingly beautiful song of farewell entitled "Fareweel You Silver Darlin's" (written by guitarist and lead singer Roy Gullane), but other highlights include the slightly creepy "The Shearin's No for You" (in which a young swain reassures his love that he really has no intention of killing her) and the hearty drinking song "The Three Healths." There is also a very fine version of the classic William Motherwell song "The Wars o' Germany." If Leaving St. Kilda falls a bit short of the Tannahill Weavers' best work, that fact only underscores the consistently high quality of their other albums.

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