stunning new album from CAPERCAILLIE

'Choice Language', the title of the new album from Celtic supergroup Capercaillie conveys the band's long standing links with the Gaelic tradition.

But the title also reflects the modern interpretation of ancient songs and tunes that has become Capercaillie's trademark.

This time the band moves its unique brand of fusion and crossover to another level.... samples, loops and strong grooves are used extensively alongside the familiar mix of instrumentation - fiddle, whistle, uilleann pipes... and, of course, the mesmerising voice of Karen Matheson.

There is a maturity and confidence about 'Choice Language'... a new 'feel' to the music, created around a stronger-than-ever rhythm section - drummer Che Beresford, bassist Ewen Vernal and percussionist David 'Chimp' Robertson.

The 'usual suspects' that form the backbone of the band are also in fine form - the band's founder, accordion/ keyboard player Donald Shaw, fiddler Charlie McKerron, bouzouki player Manus Lunny and the flute and pipe playing of the ubiquitous Michael McGoldrick.

Recording of this album began in Summer 2002 when the band flew to a rented villa at Porto Ullise, Sardinia to lay down some basic tracks. It continued in Donegal, Aviemore and at Secret Music studios in Glasgow, where, over the last six months they have fine-tuned their most ambitious album yet in their 20 year career.

And yet, for a band that has sold over a million albums, toured in over 30 countries, starred in a blockbuster movie and had a Gaelic language single in the charts, this release is still as fresh and stimulating as ever.

Choice Language

Choice Language
Choice Language

  extract from the sleeve notes:
  (please note, final CD tracks will not be in this order)

  1. Mile Marbhaisg Air a Ghaol (A Thousand Curses on Love) (trad arr Capercaillie) This waulking (work) song has been performed and recorded by many great singers over the years. Karen knew this Barra version from one of the greatest - Flora MacNeil, and we found ourselves playing it by osmosis while sound-checking somewhere last year.
  2. Mooney's Reel (M.McGoldrick)
  3. The Boy Who (D.Shaw) Journalist Breve Evans recently wrote of kids living in the West Bank of Jerusalem who had powers of second sight. Rather than leave the chaos they stay and make a living for their families by selling' premonitions to the police. It was an inspiring story of finding a way to survive.
  4. Air Fair an La (At Dawn of Day)/ Cailleach liath Rathasai (Grey-haired Woman from Raasay) (trad arr Capercaillie) Two very old songs. The second is a waulking song from a collection of songs of occupation from the Western Isles collected by Frances Tolmie and printed in 1911. The first is a mouth music song from the K.McDonald collection of 1901.
  5. Port na Caillich (The Old Crone) (trad arr Capercaillie) We learnt this song from field recordings by the school of Scottish Studies of the singing of Margaret MacKay from Harris. Amongst other cheerful ramblings the writer says in the best verse "a thousand blessings on death, he has relieved many a man, he took away my old crone, I'm delighted that she's dead!"
  6. Little Do They Know (D.Shaw) This song is dedicated to the sorely missed Labour politician John Smith. Strange how the feeling of hoping for a more dignified way of life for your country never goes away, even in the face of widespread apathy.
  7. Tha Fadachd Orm Fhin (I Am in a State of Yearning) (N.MacLean/ D.Shaw) These poetic words of longing were given to us a while ago by Gaeldom's great musician, scholar and comic genius Norman MacLean - the song evolved into this bizarre work song.
  8. The Sound of Sleat/ The Fear/ Breton (trad/C.McKerron/ trad) The first tune has been a favourite session tune for years, Sleat is on the south side of Skye.
  9. Who Will Raise Their Voice? (D.Shaw) Probably an obvious question in a leaderless world.
  10. Nuair a Chi Thu Caileag Bhoidheach (When You See a Pretty Girl) (trad arr Capercaillie) "I will tell you about young love - it will pass like clouds" We learnt this song, warning of impetuous love from the singing of Alasdair Codona.
  11. Choice Language/ Bring out the Wilf/ Come Ahead Charlie (M.Lunny/ M.Lunny/ D.Shaw & M.McGoldrick) Three slides. Sort of.
  12. I Will Set My Ship In Order A song sung by a great friend and musician, Tony Cuffe, missed greatly by all. Published in Ord's Bothy ballads.