Don­ald Black doesn’t dis­ap­point in con­cert

The Oban Times - - Letters -

DON­ALD Black was on fly­ing form at his con­cert last Fri­day, Septem­ber 18.

I’ve known Don­ald for years and, un­til last Fri­day, had never seen him live, so I was thor­oughly look­ing for­ward to the evening.

Don­ald cer­tainly didn’t dis­ap­point. Armed with an ar­ray of mouth or­gans, and backed by Mar­tainn Skene on pi­ano and ac­cor­dion and Don­nie Macken­zie on guitar, he put on a great show.

Don­ald is al­ways quick to praise his back­ing band. Him­self and Don­nie Macken­zie are old friends who have toured the world to­gether over many years.

Don­ald spoke highly of Mar­tainn who he said was ‘new to the scene’. He praised his mu­si­cian­ship and, most of all, his play­ing of the older style of tunes which are so of­ten ig­nored by a gen­er­a­tion keen to play mod­ern com­po­si­tions.

Don­nie and Mar­tainn made a great back­line.

Both halves of the evening were opened by another friend of Don­ald’s - Roddy Camp­bell from Barra.

Roddy sang a se­lec­tion of Gaelic songs and played a few sets of pipe tunes on the elec­tric chanter.

The high­light for me came at the end of the con­cert when Don­ald played the Gaelic slow air ‘Gru­a­gach Òg an Fhuillt Bhàin’, surely one of the most beau­ti­ful tunes the world has ever heard.

The whole au­di­ence be­gan singing - lead by Roddy - pas­sion­ately belt­ing out the Barra song from his front row seat.

Don­ald later con­fessed that his usual ar­range­ment is to change the key of the piece half­way through but, such was the beauty of the au­di­ence’s singing, he de­cided to re­main in the same key to al­low them to carry on. It was a great mo­ment.

With the tone that he pro­duces from the mouth or­gan, when it comes to slow Gaelic airs, I don’t think Don­ald Black can be beaten.

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