"Sound Of Taransay"
First recording by "Tannahill Weavers" flute and whistle player, released earlier this year. Will have to comment later.
This is a very welcome addition to the still relatively small number of recordings made by Scottish flute and whistle players. Phil has been the flute and whistle player with the "Tannahill Weavers" for many years now, and it’s great that he’s managed to step forward out of the band to the forefront with this, his own solo recording.
There are 22 tunes in all, and he has written 11 of them himself, the others being traditional sources, 3 still living composers, and 2 tunes by P.M. G.S. MacLennan. I’m fairly critical of "recent" compositions, but Phil has done far, far better than most of his contemporaries with this collection of compositions. The very first tune appealed to me straight off - I’m not aware of many strathspeys being composed these days, but after playing the album through, I immediately sat down to learn it, and have been "pushing" it in sessions since.
The other airs and waltzes in particular, are of similar quality.
I would have 2 minor criticisms - it’s a bit short at 32 minutes. I felt on several of the tracks that a tune could have been played again - the music was good enough to go round once more, which would have added a bit to the overall length and value of the recording.
There’s a truly stellar list of guest musicians appearing - too many to mention in fact, which must make it very difficult, if not impossible for Phil to tour and promote the album, which is a great shame, as I’d love to see and hear him performing these tunes live. Maybe I’ll just have to wait for the next "Tannahill Weavers" gig in or around Aberdeen, but if the band are in your area next year, be sure to check out the "merchandise department" for a copy of this fine CD of Scottish music.
Yes, great tunes. Had a chance to talk to Phil here in Sauk County WI. The Tannahill Weavers came to play at little Drea’s Bar in Hillpoint. I was amazed by his talent in doing triplets on the whistle by drumming his fingers up and down and that such a brilliant performer came out here to play for us way out in the country on a Sunday night. I will definitely look for this album
I love hearing strathspeys on flute — it gives them such a lift. Great album!