Astar (Breabach Records)
Astar is the Scots Gaelic word for journey, and in this context signifies Breabach’s musical and geographical travels. There are collaborations on this, their fifth release, with musicians from Australia, New Zealand, Norway, and Québec; the fruits of friendships formed on the long and winding road.
International musical flavours on offer include Maori haka chanting, didgeridoo, hardanger fiddle, and French-Canadian podorythmie.
In case you are worried that this adventurous and daring experiment has taken the band totally off their oft beaten track, I can reassure you. There’s still plenty of classic Breabach pipe reels, marches, and Gaelic songs on offer, too, and their trademark twin bagpipe front line, ably supported by fiddle, guitar, whistles, and double bass, kicks as hard as ever. From Sydney to Aukland, Tromsø to Montreal, you’ll be glad you hitched a ride with Breabach for this impressive world-music fusion road trip.
– By Tim Readman