Dan Ar Bras

Made in Breizh

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Dan Ar Bras (or Braz, as he's styled here), has a storied past in Breton and Celtic music, having played with any number of the great names. But he's also released a number of excellent solo records, and this adds to the canon. There's no shortage of people lining up to appear with him, including Capercaillie's Karen Matheson, who offers vocals on three tracks, percussionist Noel Bridgeman, and, inevitably, Donal Lunny, who seemingly has a contract allowing him to guest on every Celtic album released. But it's certainly not a case of too many cooks (33 to judge by the booklet) spoiling the broth; instead, the result is a delicious soup, with plenty of nimble and thoughtful electric guitar from Ar Bras on a disc that's largely made up of his own compositions, with "Faces of Spain" a standout, as is "Scottish Suite," with its selection of strathspeys and reels elegantly performed on bagpipes. The songs don't always work quite as well, occasionally coming off as a little too lightweight and Celtoid in arrangement. But buy this for the instrumentals and you won't be disappointed.

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