CD REVIEW – by Ian Dearden
Braemar are a duo based in Melbourne who have, in a few short years (they formed in 2003) built up an impressive performance resume delivering their particular brand of Irish and Scottish vocal music.
This has seen them perform everywhere from the Australian Celtic Festival at Glen Innes to the pre-match entertainment slot at a Wallabies v Scotland rugby union test.
This is the second album by Eddie Lewis and Marc de Rijk as Braemar, and they draw both their repertoire and their vocal performance style unashamedly from the big, bluff singing styles of The Corries, the Wolfetones, the Dubliners, the Clancy Brothers and the Fureys.
This album was recorded live at Sub Studio, La Trobe University, and the instrumentation is sparse – mainly guitar, but occasional bodhran and some beautiful bagpipe playing on “Highland Cathedral” (courtesy of David MacNamara).
The repertoire is substantially traditional, or “in the tradition” and includes songs such as “Belfast Mill”, “Loch Tay Boat Song”, “Nancy Whiskey”, “Danny Boy”, “Scots Wha Hae”, “Whiskey in the Jar” and “Wild Rover” (a rousing version recorded very live!)
The material draws equally from the Scottish and Irish branches of the Gaelic tradition, and this album is a stirring and enjoyable introduction to the tradition from this pair of Australian gaelophiles!
Both of them look great in kilts to boot!