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PAUL ANDERSON - The High Summit

PAUL ANDERSON - The High Summit
Fingal Records FINCD506

Mr Anderson is no shrinking violet, at least not when it comes to setting down a tune-set. Some of these sets are as muscular as the man himself: you wouldn’t argue with these tunes and he looks like he could lead out the Scottish rugby team at Murrayfield, in which case I rather wish they’d use one of his tunes!

The CD is an eloquent testimony to Paul’s prolific musicianship and creativity. At times the tunes can be tender, yet his fiddle style does not indulge in over sentimentality and the accompanists are excellent. We know we are in Scotland, yet in the Norman Conboy reel set, for a moment I was transported to County Leitrim to a great fiddle player from whom I had lessons. This illustrates the variety and interest which comes from the head, heart and hands of a master of his craft.

If I have a quibble it is the recurring tendency to over-indulge in studio effects from the keyboards. A little less would have pleased me better, but I have to admit they are perfect in the tribute to Paul’s wife, Shona, and her rendition of the self-penned The Bonnie Banks O’ Dee is one of the highlights of the disc.

The engineering of this CD is such that it should be listened to on an excellent sound system. Then perhaps you could imagine the fiddler and his friends playing the day and night away in your kitchen – where better?

C. John Edwards

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