Capercaillie :: Roses and Tears

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Roses and Tears by Capercaillie

Originally posted on Epinions

Other Capercaillie Albums I’ve stumbled upon:
Sidewaulk by Capercaillie

Would you believe Roses and Tears is the 14th studio album by a Celtic band, and it’s not the Chiefains?

Well, Capercaillie‘s unique style of improvising traditional Celtic tunes and the likes in a main-stream rock fashion has established them with one of the biggest Celtic fan-bases, even though they are not as well-known as the Chieftains. With Karen Matheson‘s soothing and rhythmic vocal performances, Michael McGoldrick (pipes and flutes) and Donald Shaw (piano and accordion) once again succeed in producing a sweet surprise with Roses and Tears, where jazz and funk come together with traditional sounds.


Many of the songs featuring in Roses and Tears are newly discovered traditional arrangments from the Gaelic song archive at the School of Scottish Studies at Edinburgh University. These songs from old times are woven together with original compositions by Donald Shaw. This is an album that also reflects in its lyrics the global exhaustion with seemingly endless wars in contemporary times. A mixture of funk, jazz, and Celtic jigs and reels can be heard melding smoothly in the seven Scottish Gaelic tracks, accompanied by three instrumentals and two English-language songs.

While hard-core listeners of Celtic music may find the cultural branching out a bit untraditional, Roses and Tears is undeniably a unique addition to the genre. The musical adaptation serves only to lift cultural boundaries and elevate the standing of Celtic music in the diverse scene of World Music. Capercaillie still has their roots in the old tradition, and one instrumental cover, originally by a Breton artist, is indicative of their recognition of the musical endeavors of their Celtic cousins across the English Channel.

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