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Pernille Rutzou of The Living Tradition

reviews Ingleneuk by Hector Gilchrist

I sat a Wednesday afternoon and listened to quite a few new CDs. This one stopped me in my tracks. I had at that point in time only planned to take a sample, play a few tracks from each - but this one played all the way through.
The first thing that came to my mind was, that this was not an up-and-coming next new thing on the folk scene, the voice wasn't quirky and neither was it full of weird and wonderful grace notes was maybe more of a voice you'd imagine in a setting around the piano ... but I'm afraid it was just so pleasing to the ear.

Hector Gilchrist has been described as `relaxed easy listening', which is true, as one does seem to sink back into the chair when listening to his rendition of Bogie's Bonnie Belle. Voice, guitar and a few gentle notes from the fiddle makes this stand out in beautiful simplicity. It is followed by a great version of Lochanside, a pipe tune with words by Jim Malcolm. Vicky Swan plays the Scottish small pipes on this one and Jonny Dyer the accordion, together they provide a real, yet unobtrusive, drive to the song.

The album holds a mix of traditional and contemporary songs, Norland Wind by Violet Jacob and Jim Reid, Stan Rogers' Lockeeper and Davy Steele's Last Trip Home are other favourites on this collection of great songs. It sometimes seems to me the term, easy listening, implies a kind of permittable switchoff but there is a real sense of these songs being lived in - and though you may find yourself relaxed, it is well worth it to listen carefully.