Cairde: Heart to Heart
By Mike Moroney
Cairde is a female Celtic group of friends (what 'cairde' means) that have been together now for some 14 years. Based in Nelson they've been touring and recording regularly over that time and this is their third album. Beautiful arrangements of beautiful songs from the contemporary Woman's Heart through to traditional Gaelic airs, these women blend with lovely harmonies. Their rendition of the Rankins' Rise Again is particularly good. The technical production too is big and generous-sounding with a lot of warmth. If I have a criticism of the album it's that it doesn't swing. All the arrangements are very precise and formal in style, every note given its full value. But as such it should have an additional appeal to the more conservative listener - and anything that makes folk music more accessible to a wider audience is okay in my book.