Link to Living Tradition Homepage





Sleeve not available

This is the sort of music that gave the fiddle a bad name in religious circles. Listening to Douglas Montgomery drive into The Trip to Windsor or chassay languidly through The Blue Reel, it's easy to believe that the devil is playing along. And maybe there is something supernatural about a man who can bend his bow to Scott Skinner or Swamp Fever with equal ease, as well as writing his own tunes in several styles. Orkney man Douglas Montgomery has his fingers in many musical pies. He's half of Saltfishforty, one of the Silver Penguins, and here he's teamed up with Orcadian guitarist Stewart Shearer. Between them they've composed about half the material on this CD, and they play nine instruments, leaving hardly any need for guest musicians.

The gorgeous waltz Holland Bay is one of Stewart's, as is the leisurely jig which provides the title. There's a cracking crop of reels in the middle of this recording: a rollicking rendition of The Flowers O' Edinburgh, a super set combining The Silver Spire with McFadden's, and a great tune called Frank's Reel by a mysterious John McKusker. The last three tracks on Crossing Warness are all Montgomery and Shearer compositions, showing their versatility and genius. The Ferry Crossing is a slow fiddle lament for a distant home, and Sunset Over Rona's Hill is in a similar vein on solo guitar. In between, Wulk Fever captures the fiery spirit of island celebrations with that Celtic swing so typical of Scotland's northern outposts. Crossing Warness is hard to categorise, but easy to like. Enjoy.

Alex Monaghan

Secure On-line mailorder service
Buy this CD online from The Listening Post
The Listening Post is the CD mailorder service of The Living Tradition magazine.
This album was reviewed in Issue 59 of The Living Tradition magazine.