Reviewed by Alan & Angeline Chesters
Although part of a series (see the article on Sammy in CR38), this album stands out on its own. Sammy has produced a varied mix of 18 songs, mainly brand new. He wrote half of them and takes the lead on 13 of them. The Quaich is the Scottish friendship and welcoming cup of rich or poor (the album's worth buying just for the sleeve notes) and the title track is on that theme. "Guest" musicians and vocalists contribute to the range of emotions which the album stirs. After a lively opening. Sammy includes his "With Every Blessing", made very popular by Nuffsed. Next comes a song penned and sung by Alex Legg. the timely "A Song For Freedom (The Millennium Song)", also with vocals by wife Jenny. There are two traditional songs focusing on the Christ child, one a lullaby and the other, ending the album, a meditation by Joseph, spoken by Sammy. The writer on "Celtic Christianity", Ray Simpson, speaks at the beginning of "The Quaich" and adapts words attributed to St Columba for the beautiful "Creation". Every track is absolutely wonderful but I'd like to mention "Wedding Prayer", exhorting strength in marriage with the Father as the third strand, with fine vocals by Sammy and Jenny and "Love The Lord With All Your Heart", the jig which gives the second half a lightning start typical of Sammy's sense of fun. Christianity boring? Humbug! Thanks, Sammy, for sharing the Quaich. This album is a touch of Heaven on earth for those who want to taste it.
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