Matheson's solo work is quite different from the Capercaillie vibe. Downriver features simple, sparse, acoustic arrangements with Donald Shaw on piano, along with Donal Lunny (bouzouki & bodhran), James Grant (guitar), James Mackintosh (percussion), Ewan Vernal (bass), and the strings of the Scottish Ensemble. But the highlight is always Matheson's wonderful voice, controlled, refined, and sublime. Apart from two songs in English, it's all about the Gaelic songs she grew up with. A beautiful album, though it would it have killed Compass Records to include song notes/translations?
To get you ready for Downriver, which will be released in the US in February, here's a cut from Capercaillie's 2003 CD Choice Language.
[Monday's mp3] Capercaillie -
Karen's website is www.karenmatheson.com