Kaela Rowan – The Fruited Thorn (2016) [Web FLAC]

Label/Cat#: Shoogle Records

In 2014 Kaela Rowan released her first solo album, Menagerie, a dreamy, imaginative and compelling exploration of traditional and contemporary themes, showcasing the unique vocals that Kaela has previously provided for Mouth Music, The Bevvy Sisters and, more recently, on Shooglenifty s The Untied Knot (read our review here).

In her second solo album, The Fruited Thorn, Kaela charts an unexpected course by turning to the traditional songs that inspired her as a young singer in Lochaber. Developing arrangements and co-producing the album with her partner James MacKenzie (Percussion, Guitars, Keyboard, Programming, Vocals) and with core collaborator Ewan MacPherson (Guitars, Mandolin, Jaw Harp), both of Shooglenifty, Kaela has gathered an impressive band of contributors for a collection of eleven songs that not only pay homage to those centuries of influence, but also confirm Kaela s reputation for craft and originality.

Recording traditional material is by no means playing it safe, and it s a brave soul that takes on Robert Burns Now Westlin Winds since Dick Gaughan made it his own. Braver still to open an album with it. With a light as air guitar and fiddle opening, and amid Dave Milligan s beautifully understated piano, Kaela s trembling vocal breathes its way through Burns exquisite poetry towards a moment of sheer magic

01. Westlin Winds (feat. John McCusker)
02. Eilean Fhianain (feat. Patsy Reid)
03. Lord Gregory (feat. Jarlath Henderson)
04. Nighean Nan Geug
05. As I Roved Out (feat. Jarlath Henderson)
06. Mary and the Gallant Soldier (feat. Ewan MacPherson)
07. Blackbird (What a Voice) [feat. Ewen Vernal]
08. Bratach Bana
09. If I Was a Blackbird
10. The Bonnie Woods O’ Hatton (feat. Ewan MacPherson)
11. Grioghal Cridhe (feat. Dayam Khan Manganiyar)