This self-titled CD, produced by Simon Thoumire, is a compilation of traditional and original pieces, showcasing Finlay MacDonald’s admirable skills as a bagpiper [Highland and Lowland] flute & whistle player and tune-writer. Young though he may be, this man clearly has much to offer the music world, and that of piping in particular. The album starts off at a blurring speed with two great pipes tunes The Plagiarist and The Night We had the Goats learned from inspirational pipers Allan MacDonald and Duncan Johnston. But it’s not all fast and furious; there are beautiful, tender moments in such offerings as the self-penned Cowden Hall, inspired by the area around Finlay’s home and Lake Ochrid, named for a little town on the Serbian border, with delectable piano accompaniment from Brian Kellock. Finlay dips into the old piping manuscripts and comes up with some real treasures such as the quaintly named I Would Have Preferred Thee at First, but not now Sir from the Gunn Collection and The Mountain Dairymaid from McPhedrans’s. There is even a song The Hump Backed Whale sung by Back of the Moon’s Findlay Napier. The musicianship on this CD is exemplary from all concerned and the arrangements on both traditional and contemporary sets demonstrate a pleasingly youthful diversity. Highly recommended.
released January 22, 2014
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