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December 21, 2009

The wonder of Capercaille

I've been a Celtic music fan for quite a while now, and one of my favourite bands is Capercaille.  This Scottish group that does a mixture of Celtic and contemporary music that has to be heard to be believed.  There's a reason I bring them along with me on any of my trips, as I did this time.  The band is headed by lead singer Karen Matheson, with a voice that could sing with the angels, but the musicians behind her are wonderful too.

I usually can't listen to music with words in a different language.  For some reason, it frustrates me that I can't sing along, even mentally.  But when Matheson cuts loose in Gaelic for some 400-year old folk tune, or even a contemporary one, it doesn't matter at all.  Her voice just becomes part of the music for me, and I'm entranced.

I'm going to give you a sample of why I love this band so much below the fold.  Hopefully you'll fall in love with the voice and the music as much as I have. 

This is an English-language song showcasing Matheson's great voice.  Titled "The Miracle of Being," it's also my favourite Capercaille song out there, and the only one I know all the words to so I can sing along.  I just love it when her Scottish accent slips in there, like when she says "curse" half-way through the song.  Or what she does with the "s" at the end of "fears" in the first line of the chorus.

This next song is Matheson singing in Gaelic, a song called "Hookannoy," where you also get a wonderful example of the musicians behind her. I'm not a musician, so I couldn't even name the instruments that are being used (bazooki? Mandolin? Recorder?), but they all make sweet music.

And as a bonus Gaelic song, here's a ballad called Mi le m-uilinn Gàidhlig Gaidhlig (don't ask me what that means), again showcasing Matheson's voice.

Finally, let's let the musicians take the stage! Another thing Capercaille is really good at is a good Scottish reel, and this is a great example of it. Not sure what the name of this one is, as it isn't on the video clip, but just listen. I dare you not to feel like tapping your feet or clapping your hands.

As you can see here, I have some great musical company on my trips.


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