Dermot Hyde & Tom Hake,
(REL, 2003)

Pipeline is, above anything else, a fantastic album. It is creative, eclectic and a highly enjoyable listen. The two musicians have fused together a variety of Celtic traditions to create quite an interesting sound on several of the pieces, all the while playing their instruments with the greatest of skill.

The songs on the album are particularly noteworthy, as not only are many of them great original songs by Dermot Hyde, but there is also a track featuring Uxia Senlle, a Galician singer with an amazing voice. Hyde sings lead vocals on the other songs and his voice has a lovely, rustic sort of edge to it while being highly enjoyable to listen to.

Particularly well done are "Thirteen Years/Keelin's Return" and "Non Te Namores, Nenina/Rumba de Carcacia/Verde Gaio/Polka De Vilagarcia." The latter is an eight-minute set including the singing of Senlle and a very good beat. The former is also well done and expresses the enthusiasm of a young man setting off on adventures. It is followed by a song about a young woman who was sent away, only to return that same day.

"Adair's March/Cities Far Away/Lament for Derryveagh" is a nine-minute epic featuring some of the most haunting and stirring vocals towards the end. The whole piece is in memory of some of the evictions during the Irish famine and is one of the more beautiful memorials to the tragic events that took place. "Kisses and Kind Eyes" is another great Hyde-penned number with a catchy tune and interesting lyrics.

The instrumentals are also enjoyable, especially "Maria Solina," a harp and flute tune about a woman who loses her husband and comes to be regarded as a witch in Galicia. The piece is slow and melancholy, giving a representation to her grief. The following track features some mouth music to go along with the instrumental tune with great effect.

Dermot Hyde's flute, uilleann pipes and small pipes dominate many of the instrumental tracks, with Tom Hake providing lead and backup on bouzouki, guitar, harp, bass and vocals. Paddy Kerr joins on bodhran and Toby Backhaus adds percussion on two tracks. Many of the tunes were written by Hyde's brother Brendan, an Edinburgh flute player, while others are traditional, by other composers or by Hyde.

Hyde and Hake, who now tour under the name Pipeline, have created a wonderful album that should be added to any collection. Both excellent musicians and singers, the recording is original and engaging.

by Jean Emma Price
17 December 2005

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