Blair Douglas - Stay Strong (Bithibh Laidir/Rester Fort) (4 stars)

Blair Douglas - Stay Strong

(Ridge Records)


The triple language title of keyboard and accordion player Blair Douglas’ latest outing reflects the characteristic mix of Scottish/Gaelic folk and rock, Cajun and New Orleans music that makes up this typically eclectic collection. The Skye musician’s love for cajun music in particular shines strongly through the music, whether echoing its Canadian and Louisiana connections or underpinning a comic Gaelic song about the failings of Skye’s males (Douglas, of course, being one such).

His excellent tunes and songs take in poignant heart-on-sleeve ballads, anthemic rock, sparkling Cajun workouts, a slice of New Orleans R&B and his very different tributes to Martyn Bennett in ‘Martyn In Mind’ and James Brown in ‘Keep the Cèilidh Funky’. They are interpreted by a diverse collection of guest musicians and singers, including Eddi Reader, Michael Marra, Cookie Rankin, Kathleen MacInnes, Arthur Cormack and Runrig’s Bruce Guthro and Rory MacDonald.

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