Kathleen MacInnes,
Summer Dawn
(Greentrax, 2006)

The actual title of this CD is in Gaelic, Og-mhadainn Shamhraidh, and all of the track titles are also in the native tongue. That is as it should be, because they are all beautifully sung in Gaelic, proving once again that this language is every bit as romantic as French or Italian.

Kathleen MacInnes hails from the Western Isles and Gaelic is her first language. And, she has a voice made to sing.

Through these 14 tracks she will entrance and beguile you even if you do not have a clue what the words mean. Fear not. This album might even teach Gaelic to some of you heathens. The beautifully designed and printed insert offers the lyrics in English alongside the Gaelic overprinted on some beautiful colour photographs.

The best-known track on offer is "Jimmy Mo Mhile Stor," but do not confine yourself to the familiar. If you are not adventurous you will miss wonderful tracks like "Star of the Sea" and "Lullaby of the Fairy Woman." She also gives us a Gaelic version of "The Twa Corbies."

This album is a challenge because it will not be instantly familiar, but if you give it half a chance you will be going around singing snatches of songs in Gaelic next week and astounding your friends.

by Nicky Rossiter
21 October 2006