‘Sanctuary’ - Ross Ainslie - an incredibly potent piece of work

(December 07, 2017)

Listening to this evocative, expressive and at times almost otherworldly and theatrical album is quite an experience. It’s a voyage of exploration, a passage of musical involvement, an expedition into spheres of fantasy, a tour of spaces and a flight to places yet unvisited and those well known. ‘Sanctuary’ from Ross Ainslie is unlike anything you’ve heard before ... it strikes with the shock of the new, yet envelopes with the warmth of familiarity ... and that makes this albumSanctuary Ross Ainslie supremely listenable and infinitely memorable.

Ross sates: “... if I’m having a particularly bad day music is always the thing that will pick me up so that’s why this album is called Sanctuary.” And that is a maxim that works for this album. There’s an engagement that takes you into those previously mentioned realms and allows the balm of this music to embrace and soothe. There is a melding and blending of styles, cultures and treatments throughout. There’s an eclectic mix of instruments that weave a magic of East combined with West. Each track glistens and sparkles with energy and precision ... ‘Inner Sanctuary’, ‘Sense Of Family, Protect Yourself, ‘Home In Another Dimension’ and ‘Road To Recovery’ ... each marking their own step on the excursion and creating their own pathways to redemption and recovery.

‘Sanctuary’ is an incredibly potent piece of work and one that possesses a compelling fascination.

Playing on ‘Sanctuary’ are Ross Ainslie (Highland pipes, C Small pipes, whistles, bansuri, cittern, banjo) Steven Byrnes (acoustic guitar) Hamish Napier (piano, keys) James Lindsay (bass) Greg Lawson (fiddle) and Cormac Byrne (drums, percussion), with guests on selected tracks Zakir Hussain (table) Soumik Datta (sarod) Damien O’Kane (banjo) and Jock Urquhart (words).


Review: Tim Carroll

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