Records - Finlay MacDonald Band (4 stars)


Re-Echo (Greentrax)


Finlay MacDonald has emerged as one of the leading lights in the current wave of experimental Scottish pipers. Like a number of his contemporaries, he combines firm roots and a family connection in the pipe band tradition with a distinctly contemporary and wide-ranging musical sensibility. The result is a powerful hybrid that pulls together folk, jazz, rock and urban dance influences into a compelling whole.

His powerful piping and whistle playing is supported by his regular band, featuring the eclectic fiddler Chris Stout, jazz guitarist Kevin MacKenzie, electric bassist John Speirs and drummer Fergus MacKenzie. MacDonald’s compositions are complemented by distinctive arrangements of both traditional tunes and pipe compositions by RS MacDonald, Chris Armstrong and Martyn Bennett, all delivered with driving, crisply-focused energy on the up-tempo tunes, leavened by more relaxed interludes.

(Kenny Mathieson)

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