Reading the accompanying publicity, you might be forgiven for thinking that this is the 12th album by a long-running Scottish folk group that's still performing. Listening to the album itself, you'd certainly be forgiven for wanting tickets for their next gig because these tracks, recorded in front of a vocally excitable Cambridge, Massachusetts audience in 1983, are alive with the skill, dexterity, daring, passion and feeling for the tradition that made Silly Wizard such a phenomenal live act. Released to mark the Wizard's overdue induction into the Scots Trad Music Hall of Fame this December, Live Again endorses a reputation for high-wire instrumental sets featuring Phil Cunningham's accordion and his late brother Johnny's fiddle alongside Andy M Stewart's barrelling tenor banjo. But there's texture, thoughtfulness, improvisation and arranging nous to spare, too, and in Stewart's magnificent telling of songs traditional and original, amorous and humorous, there's the depth of tone, tenderness, timing and sheer authority of a singer with the tradition in his soul.
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