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Temple Records COMD 299

IAIN ANDERSON - Silver Strings
Highlander Music HRMCD014

The Red House – The Heritage of the Scottish Fiddle

A.B.C Classics ABC 476 8036

I never cease to be amazed at the number of young talented musicians there are ‘on the scene’.  This seems particularly true when it comes to Scottish fiddle playing.  Here are the albums to prove it.

Alasdair White with Ewen MacPherson – banjo, guitar, mandolin, tromb; Aaron Jones – ten string bouzouki, bass; Iain Copeland – percussion; Mike Katz – Highland pipes and Scottish small pipes; Russell Hunter - piano and Alison Kinnaird on Scottish harp.  Alasdair White will be known to readers of The Living Tradition as the fiddler with The Battlefield Band, one of Scotland’s premier bands.  An Glầr Geal is his first album under his own name.  As is usual with Scottish fiddle playing, most of Alasdair’s repertoire is of known composition.  He plays in what is sometimes known as the North West Scottish style.  This style is substantially derived from the piping tradition.  Alasdair’s playing is sharp, accurate, exciting and modern.

Iain Anderson is another young musician who is steeped in the Scottish fiddle tradition.  Iain is joined by Angus Lyon – piano; Steve Lawrence – guitar, bouzouki, percussion; Duncan Lyall – double bass and Colin Brown on accordion. They play tunes by Skinner, Gow, Anderson, Hunter and many of the present day composers and few traditional items.  Everything is powered by the drive and precision of Iain’s fiddle.  This too is Scottish music for today, but with it’s roots clearly showing. 

Chris Duncan – fiddle; Catherine Strutt – piano and Julian Thomson on cello are three respected musicians with a love of Scottish fiddle music and they have produced a first class album.  Their repertoire is taken from tunes written within the last two hundred years.  They play with precise technical skill that is never laboured but flows, great stuff!  The Red House is an Australian release and might prove a bit difficult to find but is well worth the effort.

There you have it; three very fine albums of Scottish fiddle music clearly from deep within the tradition but played for today.  That’s how musical traditions work.  All three are highly recommended.

Danny Saunders

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This album was reviewed in Issue 73 of The Living Tradition magazine.