This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 8/05
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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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.
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
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
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
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.
All songs by Wille McCulloch, except as noted.
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