Highland Way,
Caledonia to California
(independent, 2008)

The collection Caledonia to California is my first exposure to the group Highland Way. The 10-song collection is primarily covers of songs we've heard many times. The band's style and harmonies put me much in mind of Wolfstone or Fairport Convention. But they're not afraid to add their own twist to tradition, which makes the CD a different and fun mix to listen to.

Overall, the collection is a very pleasant listen. I was delighted to hear "Their Groves of Sweet Myrtle" for the first time. "Turning Away," the opener, is a Dougie MacLean standard. (It's hard to compare to MacLean, but this group does a credible job to this strong, dark ballad.) "Crooked Jack" is almost a Westernized version with the chorus and harmony added -- very different from what I'm accustomed to hearing, but also very enjoyable. Their medley of "Scotland the Brave" is just a kick. If you like twisted, you'll have fun with this one.

The only song I didn't particularly like was "Pills of White Mercury." Their rendition is too merry for my taste. This is not a song that I've heard done in an upbeat manner before now -- and it doesn't quite work.

[ visit the artist's website ]

review by
Becky Kyle

22 August 2009

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