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Widely recognised as the compelling vocals of Celtic super-group Capercaillie, Karen's life in the limelight began with her performing as a child in her local village hall in Argyll on the West coast of Scotland, where she was brought up immersed in the deep well of traditional songs that have been her inspiration for over 30 years of recording and performing worldwide. Fast forward to last summer, where her stunning rendition of 'Ae fond kiss' stole the show at the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth games in Glasgow, to a televised audience of over a billion people.
Urram is a musical love letter to her families' Hebridean roots, with a collection of timeless Gaelic songs that evoke the character and atmosphere of Island life, through waulking songs, love songs, lullabies, mouth music and evocative poems to the surroundings. The sound of the album is engagingly contemporary in its ambition though, with guest musicians including Seiko Keita (Senegal) on kora, Soumik Datta (India) on Sarod, Scotland's Mr. McFall's chamber on strings, Innes White & Sorren MacLean on guitars, and long-term musical partner Donald Shaw on piano.
Urram unites the voices of the Hebrides with traditional and classical musicians from Scotland, Senegal, and India. It underlines the notion of Gaelic as a global musical language and confirms Karen Matheson's standing as its most accomplished and popular performer. The resources fostered at The School Of Scottish Studies and the Tobar an Dualchais (Kist o' Riches) project (www.tobarandualchais.co.uk) are a treasury of sung, spoken and written word that's provided inspiration for many of our traditional musicians and singers. While drawing from that rich vein, Karen has kept one eye on her family history and the other on the future of music. Urram is bold, it's imaginative and it's a thrill to listen to. Urram isn't a change in direction, it's the next step in a fascinating journey.
Neil McFadyen, Folk Radio UK, October 1st 2015
Disk 1 : Gura Mise Tha Gu Dubhach, A' Bhirlinn Bharrach, C A'n a Dh'fhag Thu M'fhichead Gini?, Ci an Fhidheall/Cupair Thu, Taillear Thu, Urnaigh a Bhan Thigreach, Cha Teid Mor a Bharraigh Bhronach, Maol Ruanaidh Ghlinneachain, Saoil a Mhoir Am Pos Thu, Taladh Throndairnis, Chuir Iad an T-suil a Pilot Ban, 'Eilean Fraoich, S I Nochd A' Chiad Oidche 'N Fhoghair, Cadal Cha Dean Mi