Mu­sic Masters 'Rescat­ter­mas­tered'

The Oban Times - - Leisure -

Formed eight years ago and hav­ing gone through var­i­ous line-up changes, Trail West have set a new bar for them­selves with their newly-re­leased sec­ond Al­bum. Rescat­ter­mas

tered is an ab­so­lute cracker and I would im­press upon you all to run as fast as you can down to Oban Mu­sic Shop and buy two copies each. Run back home, put it on and can­cel work till next Tues­day!

The record­ing has had great re­views and the new ma­te­rial is go­ing down a storm with live au­di­ences. Re­leas­ing the right al­bum is one of the best ways for a band to in­stantly in­crease pro­file and grow au­di­ence catch­ment. I am in no doubt this al­bum will mark a bright new chap­ter in Trail West’s jour­ney.

The 13-track pack­age of West Coast craic and mu­si­cal en­ergy was re­leased on the Tyree Records la­bel and was steered by the skil­ful engi­neer­ing and pro­duc­tion of Ross Wil­son. Shortly af­ter re­ceiv­ing my own two copies I pulled into a pass­ing place on Ken­o­vay, Tiree and lis­tened to the whole thing from start to fin­ish. The va­ri­ety of the tracks, con­trast­ing emo­tional ef­fects and over­all en­ergy of it de­liv­ers as the name sug­gests, a strong feel­ing of cel­e­bra­tion.

Seon­aidh Mac­In­tyre’s pow­er­ful, grav­elly vo­cals lead a range of dif­fer­ent song-types in both Gaelic and English and this in­creased em­pha­sis on songs is the most sig­nif­i­cant change in for­mat from their first al­bum. It works well on the record­ing and the re­sponse from au­di­ences at fes­ti­vals this sum­mer shows that it works live as well.

The vir­tu­os­ity of Ian Smith’s ac­cor­dion play­ing and Seon­aidh’s pip­ing are a strength of the band and this is dis­played per­fectly on both the ti­tle track and the pipe-led “Here we Go Ab”. It is ob­vi­ously a sub­jec­tive is­sue but for me, Seon­aidh is the best young piper on the scene at pre­sent. His ease of mu­si­cal­ity and flare on the bag­pipe are sec­ond to none in his age group. The teach­ings of Iain MacDon­ald and his own nat­u­ral gift shine through in his style and de­liv­ery. Ian’s bril­liance on the ac­cor­dion

mar­ries per­fectly with this and the solid back­ing from Alan Camp­bell and An­drew Find­later cre­ate the per­fect run­way for the melodies to fly from.

It was a great hon­our that in­cluded on the al­bum is Maraiche nan Cuan­tan, a song my mother and I com­posed. Kath­leen MacInnes sings it beau­ti­fully.

De­spite the at­tributes of the tracks and high­lights above, there is one piece that blows the rest into the back­ground! That is the Sing along Gàidhlig Waltzes.

With an ar­ray of wild “Scat­ter­mas­ters” on back­ing, and lead vo­cals be­ing shared be­tween Seon­aidh, his un­cle the great John Alex MacKay, and Ian’s Dad, the in­com­pa­ra­ble Bernie Smith Se­nior, this med­ley of songs en­cap­su­lates the ethos of the al­bum and the char­ac­ter of the band. In­deed this track is the main rea­son you will need to buy two CDs, be­cause if you lis­ten to the track of­ten enough, you may be in­spired to get so “rescat­ter­mas­tered” that you will prob­a­bly lose the first copy!

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