A Review of the Wille McCulloch CD
"Auld Tales & New"


"Auld Tales & New
by Willie McCulloch

Willie McCulloch
68 Hut Hill Road
Bridgewater, CT 06752
http://www.broadjam.com/WillieMcCulloch
email:jmcculloch3@earthlink.net

This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 8/05
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
http://www.kevindmccarthy.com/music/index.html
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Want to hear someone who is writing original 'traditional' songs today?

Want to hear a voice that could melt, heaven help us, even Maggie Thatcher's heart?

Want to be musically transported back to olde Scotland without the discomfort of airline flight and food?

Look no further than Willie McCulloch, formerlyof Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland and now of Bridgewater in the Nutmeg State.

McCulloch has been working in the music industry for some time now, and is yet another example of anample talent simply lacking the exposure provided to some of those questionable 'artists' parading on MTV and VH-1.

With a release here laden with melodious remembrances, McCulloch at last may just find himself smiled upon by the gods and goddesses of the music underworld.

He opens with "Kylenagranagh" a moving lament of personal loss, strikingly performed a cappella.

Quietly evocative, "Outer Hebrides," the first of many cuts featuring the fishing life, is next. "Wee Jimmy Lowrie" celebrates such, with a nod to the Vikings for this sea-going lineage. "Haul Awa' Lads" is a whaling song that questions the loss of human and animal life. Taking the listener from a childhood learning to fish under a father's tutelage to the extinction of such a livelihood and the need to depart for work elsewhere, is the arc of "Fender Bay." McCulloch supplies a most enjoyable chorus here.

"Hidden In The Shadows" changes the theme. It is an ode to Rosslyn, a chapel founded in 1446, that is still in use outside of Edinburgh.

"Seafield Coal," about entering the miner's life as a very young child, is reminiscent of "Schooldays Over," made most famous by Ewan McColl.

Full of Scottish history with mention of Holyrood, Arthur's Seat, John Knox, William Wallace and the Royal Mile in "The Powers That Be," McCulloch writes of savoring, saving and lamenting parts of the past.

"The Finest Of Years," "A Sky Lullaby" and "Deep Water" all return to the sailing motif. The first two are lullabies, while the latter details the lure of mystical sea creatures.

He closes with "Broken Hearts In Ireland" referring to "the troubles" that have plagued the Emerald Isle for centuries.

McCulloch retains elements of his charming Scottish accent, but the listener need not be concerned--his lyrics are easily understandable. He displays the underappreciated but marvelous ability to capturea point of time in the past and breath melodious new life into it.

This release is highly recommended.

McCulloch sings lead and harmony vocals, in addition to playing acoustic and electric guitar, bass, flute, harmonica, banjo, mandolin and penny whistle.

Track List:

All songs by Wille McCulloch, except as noted.


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