The Tannahill Weavers are one of the premiere Scottish folk bands, with a history stretching back to the late 1960s, and a legacy that includes launching the career of singer Dougie MacLean. Their sound includes prominent use of the highlands bagpipes, which -- according to your temperament -- can be a blessing or a curse... Here's a quick look at their work...
Tannahill Weavers "Best Of: 1979-1989" (Green Linnet, 1989)
Tannahill Weavers "The Tannahill Weaver's Collection: Choice Cuts 1987-1996" (Green Linnet, 1997)
The Tannahill Weavers "Are Ye Sleeping Maggie?" (Hedera, 1974)
An early album, featuring Dougie MacLean on vocals...
The Tannahill Weavers "The Old Woman's Dance" (Hedera, 1978)
The Tannahill Weavers "Tannahill Weavers" (Hedera, 1979)
The Tannahill Weavers "Tannahill Weavers IV" (Hedera)
Tannahill Weavers "Passage" (Green Linnet, 1984)
Tannahill Weavers "Land Of Light" (Green Linnet, 1986)
Tannahill Weavers "Dancing Feet" (Green Linnet, 1987)
Tannahill Weavers "The Mermaid's Song" (Green Linnet, 1992)
A very professional performance, but also a bit monotonous, with lots of bagpiping, some vocals, and a slightly saccharine sweetness that creeps in about the margins. Mostly, I think it's the overly-controlled, just-so perfection of the presentation that left me cold; little seems left to chance and there's no sense that something unexpected might happen. It's workmanlike and pristine, but it lacks the hint of wildness that can sometimes make all the difference. Plus, you really have to like the bagpipes a lot to get into this album...
Tannahill Weavers "Cullen Bay" (Green Linnet, 1993)
Tannahill Weavers "Capernaum" (Green Linnet, 1994)
Tannahill Weavers "Leaving St. Kilda" (Green Linnet, 1996)
Tannahill Weavers "Epona" (Green Linnet, 1998)
A mellow, well-produced set, evenly split between instrumentals and songs. Sometimes this is a bit too flowery or bouncy, but mostly it's nice enough, and traditional enough that there's really nothing to complain about. Sounds pretty sweet; bouzouki player Les Wilson's vocals remind me of Dougie MacLean's finer work... which is high praise, indeed! Worth checking out.
Tannahill Weavers "Alchemy" (Green Linnet, 2000)
Plenty o' bagpipes and some fine vocal numbers lace through this, their thirteenth album... As ever, the Weavers don't seem to take many chances, but they sure sound nice. The vocal numbers tend to be mellower than the instrumentals -- the faster-paced reels may have a few listeners moving for the fast forward button, but many of the instrumental tracks are pretty mellow as well. It's nice, though not overly adventurous.
Tannahill Weavers "Arnish Light" (Green Linnet, 2003)
Another fine set by the Tannies, much in keeping with their other work. What can I say? It's pretty good. Nice mix of vocals and instrumental tunes to tap your toes to...
Tannahill Weavers "Live And In Session" (Compass, 2007)
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