various artists,
The Wildlife Album
(Market Square, 2005)

It's a long time since we had a charity album released to raise money for wildlife. The wait was worth it, now that I have this fabulous release featuring 21 tracks by some of the best in the folk, jazz, rock and many other genres.

One notable feature is that it is a project-specific compilation. So often we get releases that are simply a collection of tracks donated by artists. On this CD, the vast majority of the tracks were not released before and most are connected directly with wildlife and nature.

Cara Dillon opens the proceedings with a lovely song written by Dougie McLean called "The Other Side." A beautiful instrumental piece from the Dennison Quartet titled "Passing Away -- for the Dodo & the Great Auk" sets a tone that evokes the extinction of species.

"The Giant Panda's Thoughts" from Martyn Joseph brings us exactly what the title says. This is a wonderful song giving us the victim's point of view and of course it is appropriate as the emblem of the WWF. As this panda says "I'm not sure what I'm looking at when I look at you."

Bert Jansch contributes the wonderful track "Blues for a Green Earth," while the fabulous poem "Jabberwocky" is read by Roy Harper. An old tune featured here that fits in so well is, of course, Gordon Giltrap's guitar version of George Harrison's "Here Comes the Sun."

Irish traditional music is well represented by Martin Hayes and Legends of Tomorrow with "The Master of Silence (Trip to Ennis)." Andy Irvine and Ian Anderson combine to give us the great song of what was once the far side of the world and a vast unknown quantity, "Moreton Bay." "I'm Already There" is another gem of a track from Fairport Convention, as it transports us to the days of sailing ships.

In addition to these 21 great tracks in many genres, you will have a beautifully packaged and presented album with a lovely painting of what I was going to say are penguins but I now know to be great auks -- thanks to this release. You will also be helping the World Wildlife Fund and Wildlife Trusts Ulster by purchasing this album and therefore ensuring that we can continue to enjoy nature locally and worldwide.

- Rambles
written by Nicky Rossiter
published 21 May 2005

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