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CD captures Pipin' Hot's magic

Pipin ' Hot is a hearty, satisfying concoction

Micheal Fallow
The Southland Times
December 21, 2001

Pipin ' Hot City of Invercargill Caledonian Pipe Band, Shannon
Cooper-Garland, Sheena Naughton, Brad MacClure, Jason Schmidt, Aaron Ives, Peter Skerrett, Sonny Williams Reviewer: MICHAEL FALLOW THE beauty of the Pipin ' Hot shows that became such a favourite of southern, then national, then international audiences, was the bold and adept way they crossed boundaries, merging traditional and contemporary rockier and poppier styles in ways that delighted all but the most purse-lipped purists.
Or so people kept telling me. Never went near the shows myself. Pipe-band music makes my fillings ache. Not this time, though. On the evidence of this album, I'm forced to reconsider my stance. This collection has many virtues not the least of which is the canny way the pipes are used to best effect, making dramatic okay, stirring entrances, often well into the instrumentals and never outstaying their welcome.
These are tunes you will happily have swirling around the inside of your head this Christmas, which is just as well because you mightn't have much choice in the matter, given the way the disc has been flying out of southern music stores.
The rich voice of Shannon Cooper-Garland sets sail on a trio of
nautically-themed songs; the agreeable single Calypso, which the producers have dedicated to the late Sir Peter Blake, Sailing, and the Titanic love theme My Heart Will Go On which loses its way at the ending, when the arrangement does not meet the soaring expectations created by the Celine Dion original.
Ah, but there's simply no resisting Cooper-Garland's performance in the opening track, When the Pipers Play, which uses a beautiful old tune some of us remember as either The Water Is Wide or There Is A Ship. Fiddler Sheena Naughton enlivens the proceedings with flashes of kinetic energy and slower, resonant passages. And what a conclusion. The final track, Gary Moore's Over The Hills And Far Away comes across as much a party as a performance, sung and played with vibrant, exultant abandon.
Pipin ' Hot is a hearty, satisfying concoction.


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