Star rating: ****

They may come from the Isle of Skye but there are times when they sound like a mad ceilidh band in the most mutually complementary company of a sophisticated Manhattan jazz team. And therein, partly, lies the satisfaction in listening to the Peatbog Faeries (2009 edition): they can be appreciated on all sorts of different levels.

If it's a basic, leaping-around hoolie you're after, the Peatbogs deliver the soundtrack with brio. Those looking for heart-in-mouth traditional instrumental excitement don't have to hang about for long, either. What gives the band their special quality, however, is the occasional experimental edge that recent arrival, fiddler Peter Tickell, has introduced - plus the absolute precision, punctuation and lift of a horn section in the Brecker Brothers tradition, and the razor-sharp undercurrents emanating from Iain Copeland's deeply tuned, Steve Gadd-school drumming.

There are actually times when these resources are a mite underused as the band goes for concise, disciplined, audience-friendly numbers. An admirable policy, for sure, but the more reflective All About Windmills, with its low whistle melody reminiscent of Moving Hearts in their Storm period, struck me as crying out for an extension to the trading of phrases between fiddle and the truly marvellous Nigel Hitchcock on tenor saxophone that brings it to a dramatic and rhythmically compelling, if premature, conclusion.

Elsewhere there's lots to admire, not least Tickell and Adam Sutherland's duelling fiddles on a Highland march/Galician dance tune medley in particular, their all-round effervescence in general, and the spirit-lifting effect of a 10-piece band playing great tunes with wilful gusto charged with musical command and an unstoppable groove.