A Review of the CD
"Chasing Shadows"
by Davy Steele

"Chasing Shadows"
Davy Steele

Rounder Records
One Camp Street
Cambridge, MA 02140
ph: (617)-354-0700, (800)-443-4727 ordering only
fax: (617)-491-1970

Temple Records
Shillinghill, Temple, Midlothian EH23 4SH Scotland
ph: 01875 830328
fax: 01875 830392

This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 3/98
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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Davy Steele, late of Ceolbeg and Clan Alba and currently with The Battlefield Band, provides a mixture of traditional songs, love songs, tunes borrowed from other performers and his own compositions on this release.

Dominating this CD, though, are the works penned by Steele: "Brand New Day," "Jimmy Waddell/Lochanside," "Chasing Shadows," and "Scotland Yet."

"Brand New Day," while spare in backing and performed in a curious, low-key manner, provides an interesting take on immigrants (including the Celts) emulating the behaviors and actions (and sins) of the very oppressors they are fleeing, when encountering native peoples.

Steele doesn't allow the horrors of past atrocities to provide carte blanche for victims' later deeds and actions. He is saying memories of the past should be a strong force in enhancing the present for all involved.

"Jimmy Waddell/Lochanside" examines a young man in a small Scottish village, trying to find his place in life. Shielded from the mines and the sea by his parents and, later trying, but failing to work the land, he joins The First of Foot (The Royal Scots) after being impressed by a Sergeant recruiting in his village. The last stanza provides the twist:

Steele provides the harshest, strongest tone on this release with "Chasing Shadows," a searing indictment of the excesses of capitalism and the high flyers who leave the destruction of people and land in their wake in their fight to the top. Living for the action, results soon fade from memory as ownership with no appreciation of the object, just the owning, isn't enough. "Scotland Yet" is another sobering but optimistic look in the mirror. Backed solely by Dick Gaughan on guitar, Steele's vocals provides a straightforward, honest take on Scotland's move toward emancipation from the United Kingdom. This is a quiet but well-rounded collection of songs that grows on the listener with each playing. There are songs that will make one think plus songs of both current and lost loves.

Track List:

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