Salsa Celtica,
El Agua de La Vida
(G2, 2003)

Despite the name, Salsa Celtica has its roots firmly based in the bonny clay of Scotland -- even if the members hail from Cuba, Columbia, Ireland, England, Venezuela, New York and Shetland. As with most of the best groups, they began playing for enjoyment and toured the bars and clubs of Edinburgh and Glasgow. After a first album it was off to wider fields and more diverse audiences in the villages of Scotland, from Ullapool to Orkney.

Like salsa sauce, the music is an acquired taste, but once your taste buds get the craving you will not be able to get enough of this unique band. The majority of the tracks here are either new pieces or adaptations of traditional tunes to a world beat.

"Ave Maria de Escocia (Hail Mary of Scotland)" is a fascinating seven-minute medley that showcases the talent on offer. And you must hear "Auld Lang Syne" with a salsa flavour.

With 11 members and instrumentation ranging from trumpet through bongos to violin, this is certainly a group to watch -- and even more, to hear.

This is their third CD release and I will certainly be on the look out for the next one.

- Rambles
written by Nicky Rossiter
published 12 April 2003