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Mairearad GreenMairearad Green
Album: Summer Isle
Label: Buie
Tracks: 10

Having grown up steeped in the traditional music of the Scottish Highlands, Mairearad Green is now a familiar face on the thriving and vibrant Scottish music scene. Having already released a critically acclaimed solo CD "Passing Places", this is the latest offering from a highly versatile musician.

Inspired by the stunningly beautiful Summer Isles on the West coast of Scotland, this set of 10 songs and tunes are a mixture of self-penned lyrics and collaborations with other artists, as well as featuring some excellent guests. The opening track, Island Folk is a fantastic, slow growing instrumental, with an unusual time signature. The combination of the depth of sound from the accordion and the lyrical fiddle playing of Mike Vass create an expansive soundscape that captures the beauty of the Summer Isles. The other instrumental track on the album, Red Throated Diver, is equally enjoyable. From a rolling, piano driven opening, the track turns into an accordion-led waltz with a definite French feel.

The rest of the album is songs inspired by the islands, their people and the wildlife. Star of Hope is sung by the phenomenal Scottish singer, King Creosote and is a very catchy, up tempo number full of optimism and a fantastic instrumental arrangement. Three of the other songs, The Island, A Tanera Talisman and Blessing on Tanera, feature the lyrics of Jan Kilpatrick, a poet and textile artist based in Sutherland. These are all inspired by the largest of the Islands, although there are references to some of the smaller ones, such as Isle Martin. All three are more thoughtful and reflective with sparser instrumentation and thinner textures in the accompaniment. The album finishes with another of Mairearad's songs, Home. The feeling of this song echoes the feeling of the opening track and gives the album a very cohesive feel.

This album is definitely a grower, the more you listen the more little nuances you notice and the sentiment behind the lyrics becomes more prominent. As a musician and arranger, Mairearad has really brought the words to life, as well as showing her talent as a lyricist.

Nicky Grant