Nova Scotia’s Slainte Mhath blends straightforward renderings of traditional Scottish tunes with modern applications like sampling, loops and groove-laden rhythms. With virtually no singing Slainte Mhath allows their impeccable instrumental prowess convey their message. Alternating between traditional and modern music ideals they are driven by a duo of fiddler players, Boyd MacNeil and Lisa Gallant, Scottish piper John MacPhee and keyboardist Ryan MacNeil who injects a jazzy and sometimes R&B flavor into their repertoire. Flanked by a funky rhythm section of drummer Brian Talbot and bassist Jamie Gatti, Slainte Mhath is North America’s answer to Shooglenifty and Tartan Amoebas. While their traditional approach is by-and-large flawless and can easily rival that of the genre’s major players, this band is at its best when it permits the collision and intermingling of styles.
Review by: Dave Sleger