West Of Mabou
Album: West Of Mabou
Label: Self Released
Named after a small town on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia and based in Saskatchewan, Canada, West Of Mabou bring a fair deal of traditional feeling and sounds of Scotland and Cape Breton to this their debut album. A mastery of their instruments is displayed from the onset with the ' Rannie MacLellan ' set, a sign of what's to come.
The backbeat on the album is not to be underestimated as it sits at the heart of some stellar playing, with intricate finger work on both the pipes and fiddles showcasing the top class musicianship undeniably, the percussion compliments the playing, signature changes, and does not overpower, rather the beats enhance the drive, and help to emphasize the many finger and bow movements providing a tribal rhythm for some technically difficult tunes made to sound effortlessly easy,
There are many highlights on the album including ' The Hornpipes ' set, ' Slip Jigs ' and a lovely arrangement of the Gordon Duncan composition ' Sleeping Tune '
Two sold out album launch gigs in their home province have set the band up for playing to a wider audience, they will be welcomed and enjoyed wherever they go as they add their own touch to traditional music and give it a distinctive contemporary blend and sound.
There are very few Celtic bands that have used drum kits to great effect, Moving Hearts are one that have excelled at it though, and I can't help but think that a live gig with West Of Mabou would have you dancing on your chairs, swirling you partners around the dance floor never pausing for breath, and moving hearts and feet to the wee hours.
A highly recommended album for an introduction to traditional music with a contemporary twist.