The Tannahill Weavers

The Mermaid's Song

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The Mermaid's Song Review

by James Christopher Monger

The Tannahill Weavers pull off a minor miracle with their ninth release, the breathtaking Mermaid Song. For the first time in over 20 years of recording, the band has made the transition from one album to the next with all but one member intact. Piper Iain MacInnes, who finally found his muse on the group's last effort, Cullen Bay, has been replaced by Kenny Forsyth. Forsyth gels immediately, launching into the opener, "Greenwood Side/The Highland Laddie/Pattie," with a zeal that bodes well for the band's future -- if they can manage to hold onto him. Singer Roy Gullane provides the record's most beautiful ballad, the melancholy seafaring lament "The Cuillins of Rhum." Similar instrumentation and melodies are used to great effect on the album's centerpiece, the epic "The Mermaid's Song/The Herra Boys/Captain Horn/The Fourth Floor." "Come Under My Pladie" is a bawdy tale about the many uses -- or abuses -- of a kilt. Forsyth and co-founder Phil Smillie close the record with a beautiful tin whistle rendition of "The Ass in the Graveyard," bringing the delightful Mermaid Song to a lovely and whimsical end.

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