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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 Mar 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Green Linnet
  • ASIN: B000005CNQ
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 97,436 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Alasdair Mhic Cholla Ghasda 2:30£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Balindore 4:00£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Fisherman's Dream 3:56£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Sidewaulk Reels 4:49£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Iain Ghlinn' Cuaich 3:20£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Fosgail An Dorus/Nighean Bhuaidh' Ruadh 3:00£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. The Turnpike 6:30£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Both Sides The Tweed 5:03£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. The Weasel 5:21£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Oh Mo Dhuthaich 2:44£0.99  Buy MP3 

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 Oct 2001
Format: Audio CD
Capercaillie started on the Isle of Skye, in Scotland, and their music is deeply rooted in the Scots Gaelic of the Highlands. This album has both quick reels and slow ballads, both of which are rendered superbly. The stunning voice of Karen Matheson captures emotion without sounding sentimental, it feels like the spirits of past generations are captured in the music.
Later Capercaillie albums have seen the band develop their sound and style, Sidewaulk is as close as it gets to the soul of Scottish traditional music without being bound by it. Great production by the legendary Donal Lunny has helped focus the sound and bring out the essence of each track.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. William David Goddard on 23 Dec 2011
Format: Audio CD
I have been a Capercaillie fan for over 20 years. I decided to replace some of my older tapes with CDs, which made me aware of earlier Capercaillie releases I didn't have. Like this one, Sidewaulk. I'm so glad I bought this one. Even though it was first released over 20 years ago, a delight and as fresh as ever.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 8 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A great collection of mostly traditional Celtic material 1 April 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Audio CD
When my wife and I returned from a delightful trip to Ireland a few years ago, I started looking for work by traditional Celtic bands to add to my CD collection. I have found three bands that rise above the rest - Altan, Deanta, and Capercaillie - and, while the members of all three bands are fine musicians, Capercaillie is blessed with the haunting voice of Karen Matheson. I have read some criticism about Capercaillie's forays into non-traditional work on their later albums and, indeed, there are two such songs on "Sidewaulk". Personally, I like the mixture. Like, many Capercaillie fans, I prefer the vocal tracks, but haven't heard many bands whose reels and jigs I like better.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A truly sublime recording 28 Jun 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I was hooked on this album from the very first song, "Alasdair Mhic Cholla Ghasda" a beautiful, spinning reel. After that, the haunting "Fisherman's Dream" could almost sound like a country-western song. "Fosgail an Dorus" is another traditional gem that makes you want to get up and dance, and the album ends with the transcendent "Oh Mo Dhuthaich". Karen Matheson's crystalline vocals and the sprightly, joyful instrumentation make this a record that never gets old.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Some exciting traditional Scottish tunes, but marred by synthesizers 7 April 2008
By Christopher Culver - Published on
Format: Audio CD
In the late 1980s Capercaille quickly distinguished themselves as the foremost Scottish ensemble for traditional tunes and Scottish Gaelic songs. SIDEWAULKS was one of their early successes. The title puns on waulking songs, a genre meant to accompany the beating of cloth. The rousing opening "Alasdair Mhic Cholla Ghasda" is a fine example of such songs. Lead singer Karen Matheson has stunning enunciation. The reels and jigs are performed with great confidence. Green Linnet has nicely provided the lyrics, with translation of the Scottish Gaelic materials.

It is a pity that such a talented ensemble had to bring in synthesizers. While authentic folk music is timeless, synthesizers just make an album embarassingly dated in the 1980s. If Capercaille had done like their Irish counterparts Altan and stuck to acoustic instruments at this stage, SIDEWAULKS would have held up better over time.
An early Capercaillie shines here 2 Dec 2005
By Ian Martyn - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Despite further successes, the best of Capercaillie lies in their early recordings. This one is no exception.

Now with new members Manus Lunny and John Saich, the skill level of guitar, bouzouki, and bass reaches new heights. You can especially notice this in the bass lines, as Saich's melodic bass lines give a new depth to Capercaillie's sound.

Of course, Karen Matheson, Donald Shaw, Charlie McKerron, and Marc Duff are in excellent form. Karen's voice really shines here as both Gaelic and English songs take center stage (Sidewaulk is the first Capercaillie album to have English songs as well as Gaelic songs).

With wonderful songs and impeccably performed tunes, how can you go wrong here?
Art is Synthesis; Tradition and Progress 13 Mar 2014
By Word Nerd - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I simply am not a purist--i.e. one who believes art must adhere to an immovable standard, formula, genre, or particular characteristics in order to carry validity. I am also not that much of a traditionalist: I think positive, healthy traditions can be beneficial to individuals and communities, but tradition seemingly for its own sake should be questioned and carefully evaluated, to ensure that they are not harmful either to individuals or to a just, humane society, nor simply a tool used by a certain party for unfair or ulterior reasons (i.e. to allow one group control or manipulation of another.) One of the spheres within our society rifest for the pursuit of experimentation and progress (often in that order) is that of art-- such as drawing, painting, photography, filmmaking, sculpting, writing, and, of course, music. The truly wondrous part of art is the *artists*. Consistently throughout history, across societies and civilizations, we find individuals and groups of people carrying the remarkable ability to, in various ways, gather the materials around them (whether physical or intellectual), and create some piece piece anew that excites the body, mind, and spirit, and/or which we can look to as some reflection of human life, times, thought, and feelings. That is why I feel art can be regarded as a synthesis or fusion: artists gather materials and inspirations, ranging from the observations of human nature surrounding them to, in the case of a musician perhaps a hollowed gourd, or for a painter, the natural pigments found throughout the world, to create a final product dependent on yet grater than the sum of its parts, and with the potential to be beneficial both to the individual (self-expression), and to society at large (the trading of ideas and perspectives.) While it is important to appreciate and keep record of the artistic ideas and styles that evolve over the years, music, like any art, will naturally change and evolve over time, and I think the strongest traditions are fluid: that is, room for development, and the true flourishing of artists, is provided, as change and experimentation is regarded as acceptable and natural. We should strive to be mindful and acknowledging of traditions, but open to their continuing development as a part of human society. As humans continue, art will continue, and new traditions will continue to evolve.

In this case, I find Capercallie to be a delightful blend of traditional Scottish music and more contemporary touches. Throughout the diverse and experimental ten tracks of 'Sidewaulk', the band loses none of the powerful energy or vitality so associated with Celtic music, and complements this with an innovative electrified rhythm sections and tantalizing touches of the New Age. Some reviewers take issue with the presence of synthesizers on some tracks. Firstly, I would say that their use is fairly subtle and sparing, and does not at all dominate the traditional instruments or vocals--in other words, 'Sidewaulk' does not sound like any old mediocre 1980s pop record. I personally also find the blend of instrumentation aesthetically appealing. Another favorite Celtic/fusion group of mine is the more recent Kila, and while Kila's musicians are Irish, when I listen to Capercaillie, I sometimes wonder if Kila, which rose to prominence in the mid-late '90s, were influenced by this '80s-born group. The opener of this record, an energetic musical and vocal highlight titled, in Scots Gaelic, 'Alasdair Mhic Cholla Ghasda', almost seems to be echoed with the fade-in that begins 'The Compledgegationist', (a made-up word to my knowledge), the opening track of Kila's excellent 2000 album, Lemonade & Buns, and the incorporation of bases, electric guitars and keyboards to traditional Celtic rhythms and melodies is certainly a common element of both groups.

So Capercaillie, while it incorporates many strong traditional Celtic influences, is in no way afraid of moving beyond them. This is not a strictly traditional group, so if fusion-oriented music isn't your thing, be advised that this album may not be to your tastes. For me, I love the blend of sounds going on here. Lead singer Karen Matheson has a lovely, enchanting voice, well-suited both to the Scots and English language. To witness her virtuosity, listen to track 6, the Gaelic, 'Fosgail an Dorus//Nighean Bhuaidh' , and track 8, 'Both Sides the Tweed' back to back. The former is an energetic, rather fun medley of two traditional tunes, while 'Tweed', a more recent composition is a slow-tempo, reflective song about finding harmony and peace between societies ('Tweed', in this case, refers to a river near the border of England and Scotland.) Matheson renders both tracks beautifully--the former pulsating, the latter soft, serene, and profound. Listening to these two sublime tracks, one can sees how well--at least in my opinion--Matheson's voice is suited to a variety of musical styles and forms. 'Tweed' is a particular highlight of the album, using poetic lyrics to convey a powerful social message: "Let friendship and honor unite, and flourish on both sides the Tweed... think them poorest who can be a slave, and richest who dare to be free."

Apart from just about anytime Matheson opens her mouth, I find track 4, Sidewaulk Reels, and track 7, The Turnpike, to be particular highlights. The instrumental tracks are as energetic and exciting as the best Celtic jigs and reels, combining lovely sounds of fiddle, concertina, whistle, and recorder (a personal favorite of mine), with a great rhythm section, featuring some decidedly meaty bits of back-up from the bass guitar player. Donald Shaw's concertina does tend to dominate many tunes, while I myself prefer the flowing, flying sounds of recorder and fiddle, but this is a minor reservation for me as I still find these sets excellent overall, and there is a remarkably energetic and appealing effect gain by placing the old-style concertina alongside Capercaillie's astounding, electrified rhythm section--a striking contrast, if you will. I am listening to The Turnpike now, hearing some delight fiddle interludes, as the rhythm section grooves not quite like anything else I've ever heard--and then, without missing a beat, we dive straight from one melody to the brilliant next, into an invigorating concertina workout--sublime.

Overall, if you enjoy Celtic music, including Scots-language vocals, with generous overtones of New Age and pop-ish music, or you enjoy good experimental/fusion-oriented music, do give this talented group a try. While those of more strict traditionalist tendencies may not enjoy it as much, I think anyone approaching this group with an open musical mind will likely find *something* enjoyable or interesting about it. Personally, I find this sort of experimentation, fusion, and progress fascinating, and wish such beautiful music as that made by Capercaillie were more widely known and available. Society should promote art, and the music of Capercaillie is most definitely artistic. Giving something a little different a try, and maybe you'll float away, as I have, on this enchanting blend of songs and sounds.
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