Kirsten Easdale, a member of Scottish traditional band Calasaig, brings to us
her expressions of faith in Be Not Afraid, a collection of songs from various
composers (including herself). Almost all tracks on the CD are arranged by Kirsten
and her husband, Keith. Keith Easdale, also of Calasaig, as well as the Scottish
Fiddle Orchestra's principal piper, appears on the CD playing a host of instruments.
Other than the omnipresent guitar of Rod Morison and Kirsten's own viola, Keith
plays most instruments on the album, including mandocello, keyboards, bodhran,
whistles, and pipes--uillean, highland, and small.
Kirsten has remarked that most music played in Scottish churches tends to be
from the Victorian era, with organ accompaniment or none at all. If the recordings
appearing in U.S. markets are any indication, the relationship between traditional
Celtic music and Christianity in Scotland could be characterized as an occasional
flirtation, as opposed to the marriage of styles that is more frequently found
in Ireland. It is in this environment that Easdale set out to create a recording
that is truly "Celtic Christian". In her own words, Be Not Afraid
contains songs that "have never been sung or played by anyone who is (or
ever would be) recognised as being a traditional music artist. So it's important
to me (and my musical integrity) that the album is recognised not just as a
Christian album but as a traditional one too."
In style, the album is predominantly acoustic, with keyboard accompaniment
being subtle. Though there is some percussion on the album, it is rare; this,
combined with Kirsten's warm and smooth voice, give the entire album a flowing
character that beckons the listener to meditate upon the encouraging and inspirational
lyrics. --Cory C. Engel, CelticChristianTunes.com