Album: Mairi Morrison & Alasdair Roberts, Urstan (Drag City)


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The Independent Culture

Alasdair Roberts and Mairi Morrison are part of a golden generation of Scots performers bringing new light to bear on folk music.

The pair dovetail beautifully on the mostly traditional ballads and work-songs which make up Urstan. Far from slavish or spartan, the arrangements blend wind and string instruments with a jazzy undertow of bass, intriguing brass-band colouration and dramatic drums to create music of great depth and originality: for instance, when rhythmic mouth-music is incorporated into "Làrach do Thacaidean", the result is a sort of Gaelic rockabilly. The spirit of the music reflects that of the songs, whether witty or bitter, nowhere more effectively than on the mourning song "Ailein Duinn", a quite gut-wrenching performance.

DOWNLOAD THIS Ailein Duinn; Làrach do Thacaidean; The Laird o' the Drum; The Tri-Coloured House