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World Music CD Reviews Celtic & Irish

VARIOUS ARTISTS

By Sule Greg Wilson
Published March 3, 2006

THE GATHERING: GREAT CELTIC PIPERS
Arc

This compilation of 13 songs features 10 different pipers, from groups such as Planxty, Milladoiro, Wolfstone, Bleizi Ruz and Bagad Kemper. For the stalwarts, the final track is the Strathclyde Police Pipe Band playing "Highland Cathedral." Other than that, the CD really stretches. Davy Spillane, the piper from Riverdance, plays with Moving Hearts in a thoughtful "Tribute to Peadar O'Donnell." The opening cut, "Smeceno Horo," is a traditional Bulgarian in 9/16 time that flows wonderfully from the mandolin lead into smooth pipes and a bodhran you could just eat. The Scottish band Wolfstone pits their pipes up against fuzz guitar for a rockin' arrangement of "Battle." Milladoiro is a Galacian ensemble founded by piper Xose V. Ferreoros. The melody in "Foliada de Berducido" switches from pipe to oboe to harp; smooth. Bleizi Ruz is a Breton group whose "Cinquat" features both Galacian gaita and uillean pipes. Cunla are Dublin-based traditionalists whose slow aire "Lord Lovett's Lament" is exquisitely done.