Six times a charm for Eriskay Lilt

eriskay lilt cd cover
eriskay lilt cd cover

AS well as delivering a high-quality, toe-tapping, leg-jigging recording with their sixth album, Eriskay Lilt also introduce a trio of upcoming talent with latest release ‘Home To Me’.

Formed in 1995, the popular husband and wife duo of Don and Kathleen MacDonald are joined on the new album by ten year old daughter Karen and nieces Mhairi and Kristina.

All pupils at the Glasgow Gaelic School, and proving that musical talent runs in the family, the girls add another dimension to Eriskay Lilt, and little wonder considering that Kristina alone recently won nine medals at National Mods and is a member of the Glasgow Islay Junior Gaelic choir.

Her talent is explored excellently on track three of the album, ‘My Donegal Shore’, with her delicate clarsach performance underpinning Kathleen’s vocals.

Kristina’s own singing comes to the fore on title track ‘Home To Me’, and her piano performance in the ‘Lisnagun Jig’ highlights the diversity of the young star.

Not to be outdone by her older cousin, Don and Kathleen’s daughter Karen also plays piano well, especially when covering the incredibly well-known and loved ‘Wonderful Tonight’ by Eric Clapton. And her singing in track 19, ‘Alba’, presents a delightful rendition of the Gaelic song.

Cousin Mhairi takes the reins with the pipes in a number of tracks on ‘Home To Me’, performing the pipe selection of ‘Oran Mor MhicLeoid’, ‘High Drive’ and ‘Pumpkin Fancy’ (track 10) on Highland pipes before moving to the small pipes from ‘The Dark Island’ and J. Mauchline’s ‘Portree Men’.

She also plays joins her sister Kristina on ‘Lisnagun Jig’, playing clarsach, and provides brilliant and driving vocals on ‘Kishorn Commandos’.

As well as introducing the young talents, Eriskay Lilt’s sixth album also presents a variety of new compositions, including a new Fergie Macdonald tune entitled ‘Afghanistan’, and the aforementioned ‘Alba’ by Glasgow Gaelic School teacher Sarah MacPhee, originally from Benbecula.

And new works from Don himself on ‘Home To Me’ include ‘Kathleen of Eriskay Lilt’; ‘Maureen O’Hanlon’s Welcome to Eriskay’, and ‘Christine’s Waltz’.

Delivering everything from Scottish, Irish and Country and Western songs – with a dash of more modern tracks thrown in for good measure – ‘Home To Me’ is a varied and enjoyable listen.

And performing alongside Don, Kathleen and the girls for the recording of the album are Colin Garvin on piano and second accordion; Billy Young on guitar and banjo, and Allan Irvine and Gordon Hastie on drums.

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