"ERA" - Gary Innes

I sat down to listen to ‘ERA’ with high hopes.  The host of high calibre Scottish musicians involved in the making of this ‘solo’ album could not fail to deliver.

Just like the man himself, this album exudes warmth, love, craic and good humour.  Best enjoyed with a healthy measure of Lagavulin in front of an open fire in the middle of winter.

Standout track :  ‘The Caman Man’ brought me to tears.  It’s all there.  Achievement, commitment, memories, life, change, time passing, faith, love and two teams of strapping Highland lads beating the living shit out of each other, then passing the babies around in the pub after the match.  It also contains my favourite rhyme of the year so far – salmon : caman – genius.

The timbre of Robert’s voice punches you in the chest and leaves you feeling bruised but glad.

There is some lush box playing on ‘Loch Arkaig’ and the overall quality of the production and sound recording is excellent;  the box sings out across each track, expertly complemented by several other fine instrumentalists.

It’s a glorious album.  Heartfelt, warm and uplifting.  It’s been twelve years since ‘How’s the Craic?’ and I think I can safely say it’s as good, if not better, than it’s ever been.