Monday, April 27, 2009

Bodega: Under the Counter


Under The Counter



Quebec, Glasgow, and Shetland -- and that’s just the first set of tunes on Bodega’s
latest album, Under the Counter. They make that all work for a fiercely energetic opener which evokes the wild sea and wilder lands of the northern islands along with the bustling cities of Glasgow and Montreal. Later in the set, Norrie McIver adds his voice to a varied trio of songs, Runrig’s Stamping Ground, the Tim O'Brien Robin and Linda Williams emigration ballad Lost Little Children, and Balaich an Iasgaich [The Fishery Boys] from Donald Morrison. You might gather from the tile of that last song that the group is from Scotland, and that is so: the five members, who met while studying music, come from Fraserburgh, Lewis, Shetland, Skye, and Oban. Through the ten tracks they mix up traditional music, covers of more recently composed music, and their own work, and while a good bit of it is high energy, these winner of the BBC2 Young Folk Award show they can handle the emotions of slower music as well. You mighn’t usually think of bagpipes and fiddle and clarsach and accordion and guitar going together to make Scottish music, but these five put all those together with fire and energy which will appeal to those who like the trad with a twist music of Lau and the blazin’ trad of Blazin’ Fiddles. Gillian Chalmers plays pipes. whistles, and fiddle with the group, Tia Files adds guitar, bass guitar and djembe, Ross Couper plays fiddle, June Naylor is the clarsach player, and Norrie McIver is the singer, in addition to playing accordion, guitar, fiddle, and djembe.

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