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Colin Andrews of What's Afoot

reviews Ingleneuk by Hector Gilchrist

I admit that I am prejudiced in that an album of Scottish songs would not normally be my first choice for listening. It is therefore of greater than usual credit to Hector Gilchrist that he not only held my attention throughout all 14 tracks, but I removed the disc from my player thinking, "I enjoyed that!"

Hector has a fantastically clear, gentle tenor voice, and his guitar accompaniments are also thoughtful and sympathetic to the songs. What makes the album really stand out, however, is that he has selected material, which is perfectly suited to his style. It's probably due to my self?imposed unfamiliarity with most songs from north of the border that Bogies Bonnie Belle was the only one I'd heard before, and although I know the tune Corn Rigs I'd never connected it previously to the words by Robert Burns. Hitherto, several of the songwriters were also unknown to me, but I shall certainly look out for Violet Jacob and Janis Ian's songs in future if Hallowe'en and Getting Over You are anything to go by. Songs of the late Stan Rogers seem to crop up in the repertoire of many artists, and Lockeeper is another fine example from his pen.

On many tracks, Hector is accompanied by Vicki Swan on double bass, small pipes or flute, Jonny Dyer on guitar, accordion or piano, with guest appearances, too, of Steve Poole (guitar), and Paul Sartin (fiddle, oboe). There's also a little vocal harmony on some songs, though I'm not sure whether or not this double tracked was by Hector.

So, play this CD, close your eyes, and let Hector's singing soothe your mind as it relaxes into images of the Scottish glens.