Maeve MacKinnon’s second solo album Once Upon an Olive Branch is an intruiging blend of songs in both the Gaelic and English languages. Mainly comprising traditional material, the album also features an original song of high quality.
MacKinnon is joined by Innes Watson (fiddle & guitar), James Lindsay (bass) Fraser Fifield (saxophone & whistles) and Signy Jacobsdottir (percussion). The resulting arrangements are sophisticated yet uncluttered, allowing Maeve’s emotive and captivating vocals to take centre stage.
This good judgement in the instrumentals is evident on A’ Mhic Dhughaill ’Ic Ruairidh, where languid guitar, tones and hoofbeats are melded together to create a sound part traditional but with subtle hints of jazz.
The guitar work is particularly fine on the superb self-penned title track The Olive Branc’, a powerful evocation of failed peace efforts in the Middle East. A vibrant interpretation of Ewan McColl’s classic The Father’s Song closes what is an excellent second album.Mike Hough
Self release, 1st October 2012.
2. Kind friends and companions
4. A’ Mhic Dhughaill ’ic Ruairidh
5. The olive branch
6. Sugar town
7. Horo Iollaraigh
8. She moved through the fair
9. O Phaill
10. The father’s song