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Callum Wood - She Wynds On Magic (Park Records)

Star rating: 
3

Calum Wood is a composer, singer and guitarist from the North East of Scotland. She Wynds On was commissioned by Visit Cairngorms with the aim of promoting a new route called the Snow Roads through the Cairngorms. Kind of like the Golden Age of Steam railway companies promoting locations to encourage travellers on their trains, Calum has composed and recorded an EP of music, a soundtrack for the Snow Roads. Title track She Wynds On is a gentle romantic ballad with Calum's fine vocal and accompaniment from Ross Ainslie and Charlie McKerron. The lyric draws on Wood's own childhood experiences of the Snow Roads. Superb harmony vocals and  Ainslie's atmospheric whistles make this a strong opener. The remaining four tracks, Blairgowrie to Braemar, Braemar to Ballater, Ballater to Tomintoul, Tomintoul to Grantown-On-Spey, describe stages on the journey along the Snow Roads.

The titles themselves sound exciting, the music is cinematic keyboards, stirring Folk Rock guitar and atmospherics. The tracks on the EP are Calums evocation of the drama, history and scenery in an area dear to him. With a trip app that offers interactive content for the traveller alongside the soundtrack on the CD, this is an exciting mixed media opportunity to experience music, sights and sounds. Makes a change from the dry voice of the sat nav insisting you make a u-turn at the available opportunity having failed to turn down the near vertical bridleway it insisted was a main road. In this era of slowing physical sales could it be that location specific interactive content and music, like the Aboriginal Songlines are the way to engage with music fans. If so this experiment could turn out to be significant. 

Marc Higgins 
Northern Sky