Kevin MacLeod,
Dorney Rock
(Greentrax, 2006)

Mandolins to the fore as Kevin MacLeod from the Occasionals brings us on a tour of the best in Scottish and Irish music, as well as new and old tunes from other locations ranging over 14 excellent tracks.

Starting in Ireland with a few jigs, ably assisted by Kris Drever, he takes on "The Girls of Banbridge" along with "Larry the Beerdrinker." Luke Plumb accompanies him to Scotland for a set of reels.

"Pavane" is a fascinating track dating back to the 16th century. MacLeod recalls the destruction of the wars with "The Heights of Cassino."

MacLeod picks songs from a wide range of circumstances, including movies, as exemplified on "Cacion Mixteca." It is the tune of a Mexican song dating from the 1930s that got a new audience with the film, Paris, Texas.

His set of hornpipes includes a track called "The Little Stack of Barley," and he recalls learning it from the soundtrack of a television series "The Irish RM." On "Western Waltzes," Alec Finn joins him. On this world musical tour you will also enjoy "Shetland Reels" and "Farewell to the Creeks," referring to the American Indian tribe rather than waterways.

For the mandolin aficionado or the lover of world music, this is the album to seek out and devour.

by Nicky Rossiter
16 December 2006