Music Masters 'Rescattermastered'
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!