Dai Jeffries of R2
reviews Days O' Grace by Hector GilchristIt's refreshing, amongst all the pushing of envelopes and breaking of boundaries, to hear an album of good songs rooted in the
tradition and that is WildGoose's raison d'etre. Doug Bailey is untroubled by the vagaries of fashion and doesn't worry that an artist records at irregular intervals it would seem to be seven years since Hector Gilchrist's last album.
Hector is accompanied here by Vicki Swan and Jonny Dyer, rapidly becoming the WildGoose house band, with Moira Craig adding vocal harmonies. The songs are old and new, traditional and original, writers including Robert Burns, Colum Sands, Ian McCalman and Dave Goulder. Some are infused with the vein of sentimentality that often runs through Celtic song. In truth, only Alan Reid's 'Just A Boy' crosses the line but I'll forgive Hector that aberration.
Top tracks for me are Brian McNeill's 'The Trysting Fair At Falkirk', a sparkling opener, and 'Lay The Bent Tae The Bonny Broom', a classic ballad that I never tire of hearing. Hector mixes solo a cappella with denser arrangements with ease Swan and Dyer pull out all the stops for the closing 'Scotland' for an album that is perfect for whiling away an hour.