The admission of more rawness, grit, earthiness, would have been welcome.
It begins liltingly with Karine Polwart's "Follow the Heron", and continues liltingly with a set from the Battlefield Band and goes on lilting until we get to the end -- lilt, lilt, lilt, swing and sway, guitar, pipe, and voice, -- it's a very lilty compilation. A solo female voice lilts strongly and a solo male voice lilts too, with backbone, and there is a lilting mix of harp and pipes from Wendy Stewart and Gary West, a strange but beautiful combination of bitter and soft instrumentation. A snare drum comes in around the half-way mark to give it an extra kick: salt on a margarita rim.
The international reputation of indigenous Scottish music has been bent into a distorted shape: the big highland pipes have been popularised while the rest falls under their shadow. Scottish Folk is the opposite of that: it's a record of intimacy rather than military blast. Remove the hop-pop Scots Gaelic singing of Julie Fowlis and this Rough Guide would sound like a bubble of purring bees. The admission of more rawness, grit, earthiness, would have been welcome -- the bees purr too much, and the gentleness starts to feel ridiculous in Lori Watson's "Maggie", which is sung with a misplaced virgin sweetness. Does she think those men are missing Maggie for the sake of her virtues?