Ross Munro,
Twisted Tradition
(Greentrax, 2015)

A few decades ago, when airplay was more listener-friendly, all sorts of music could make it into the charts. Those of an age will recall "Scotch on the Rocks" and "Amazing Grace" played by pipe bands. If those halcyon days were still with us, there is little doubt that Ross Munro would bring the pipes into the living rooms of the world. Sadly we live a much more machine-driven music age, so you will need to seek these gems out directly.

The baker's dozen of tracks on offer will enthrall and entrance for the most part if given a fair listen. Many are new, and those not new are given a wonderful makeover to fit into a new "set," such as on "Roo Joey," where we get "The Silver Spear" paired with "Rip the Calico," or the wonderfully titled "High Road to Itchiness," which combines "High Road to Linton" with "Itchy Fingers."

If one track were to be the one to escape into the radio-playing ether, it has to be "The Mist Covered Mountains." Munro gives new life to this traditional track that haunts the listener long after the final note. For a "B" side, one would choose "The Dark Island."

For a complete change of pace and genre check out "Funky Paddy." Even that track title lets you know that, while Munro is a very serious talent, he is also confident enough to play with the tradition as only a true lover of the music can.

In the best piping tradition she closed the proceedings with the mournful "Cuimhneachan."

Maybe by some miracle an adventurous DJ will give these tracks some air time and revive a tradition of diverse gems in our music scene.

music review by
Nicky Rossiter

15 August 2015

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