Shine - Sugarcane

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(May 2014)

14 Tracks: Seinn * Alasdair Og * Sugarcane * Small Wars * Braighe Loch Iall * Tocher * Heidi / Bothan * Fields Of Gold * Who Are You * Gloomy Winter * Be Siud * Ruidhleadh * Gloomy December * Happed In Mist.

The vocal harmony and harp trio of Alyth McCormack, Corrina Hewat and Mary MacMaster with a Gaelic and English repertoire.

"Sugarcane is a sweet offering from these smooth-voiced lassies, a sensitive and sophisticated combination of deceptively simple-sounding harmonies, traditional and new songs. They sing in Gaelic, Lowland Scots and English, combining the diversity of Scottish traditions in a seamless blend." (Rambles)

"Shine is a trio comprised of well-established Scottish artists Alyth McCormack, Corrina Hewat, and Mary MacMaster. Mary's previous group Sileas did much to popularise the harp and clarsach in the late eighties via a clutch of fine records. Sugarcane can be seen as a distant, more contemporary cousin to those albums. Typically of Alyth who seems to thrive on discovery, this CD is a brave collection of songs that in different hands could have become bland and lacking direction. However there's a cohesion to Sugarcane making it one of the few albums I've heard so far this year that has been a joy to listen to from start to finish.

Sugarcane consists mostly of songs split between Gaelic and English with a couple of Burns' pieces thrown in for good measure. In a bid to search beyond the well-trodden path of traditional songs, a touching rendition of Sting's 'Fields of Gold' makes an interesting and unexpected departure from the norm. Whether it is a song or a tune, each composition on this CD has an ambience and serenity all of its own. Indeed the recommendation on the rear sleeve reads, 'file under: contemporary/ Scottish/ Celtic/ folk/ traditional/ chill out, well that just about covers it. I'd say file under 'must discover'.

Shine? They certainly do." Kevin Whitham, Living Tradition.

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