I am a complete newcomer to this type of music. Granted I have heard one or two of these tunes elsewhere, but usually as background music - songs such as 'Westering Home', 'Marie's Wedding', 'The Rose of Allandale' - particularly well known Scottish songs. However, I can't say that I have ever heard them performed as well as on this recording and without even a trace of 'shortbread tin, tartan dreariness' which I, perhaps unfortunately, tend to associate with most of this type of music.
The singing is darned near faultless, the recording exemplary and the production almost to die for. The recording was a long time in the making, partly because of Norma's concert schedule and the fact that she lives on Islay and recorded the album at Earthworking Recording Studio in Dundee. Neither are on the same bus route. Additionally, the accompanying instrumentation by Graham Wylie is almost transparent, which I mean as a compliment. He never gets in the way of the song but supports Norma's singing and her own playing with skill and obvious thought throughout. This is the sort of session musician much of the world is crying out for.
If this is is your scene musically, or you'd just like to have a little bit of Islay playing in the background while you enjoy a dram, this is the CD for you. Beautifully sung, beautifully recorded, Norma has done herself and Islay proud.
You can listen to short samples from some of the tracks from this artist using the player below.
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