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AMY HENDERSON - Soul For A Compass

AMY HENDERSON - Soul For A Compass
Private Label AH2017CD

“Growing up I was surrounded with all kinds of music, always encouraged to follow the path I was guided to” avers this young Inverness-based accordion player and teacher who was first inspired to put fingers-to-keys-and-buttons at the tender age of eight by seeing Phil Cunningham at a local gig. Since then her path has encompassed study at Plockton High School’s acclaimed Traditional Music centre (Blair Douglas formerly of Runrig – tutor) and on to Newcastle University’s folk degree course where Ian Lothian assisted the development of accordion skills, and where she added flute and whistle to her musical arsenal.

This debut recording rolls in on an upbeat note as Mary Chapin Carpenter’s Why Walk When You Can Fly combines with Bruce McGregor’s Highlander’s Revenge before left-turning with the languid pace of Lady Mary Ramsey. This eclectic mix is the theme throughout as Amy’s own compositions (Linda & Kenny’s Waltz is liltingly lovely) rub shoulders with Bonny Ship The Diamond.

The warmth and supreme dexterity that Amy squeezes from her Manfrini box confirms that here is an accomplished musician who can balance the country bounce of Make Up Your Mind with more haunting, lingering melodies such as Golden Years. Add to this a bright, airy vocal style and you’ve got an album to lose yourself in time after time.

Whilst Soul For A Compass may be Amy’s prentice piece, her Please Please Me album, it’s convincing. I can’t wait for her Revolver!

Clive Pownceby

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This album was reviewed in Issue 121 of The Living Tradition magazine.