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BLAZINí FIDDLES - Six

BLAZINí FIDDLES - Six
Private Label BRCD2013

As I sit down to write this review, Blazin’ Fiddles has just been announced as the Scottish Folk Band of the Year at the Trads, so no pressure on this latest release, then? Well, no, there isn’t, as we’ve got another CD which is an absolute delight.

It’s now, unbelievably, 15 years since the group was founded, with the intention of showcasing the distinctive sounds of the Highlands and Islands musical fiddle traditions. The current membership combines the fiddles of Allan Henderson, Bruce MacGregor, Iain MacFarlane and Jenna Reid with Angus Lyon’s piano and Anna Massie’s guitar. This gives the group a huge amount of drive and attack, which they themselves appreciate can sometimes be described as manic. Mania, however, implies a loss of control, and this is never a complaint that can be levelled at their playing, which is frantic and frenetic when needed, yet controlled and sensitive as required.

The ensemble playing has the ability to get to the heart of the music and that of the listener, allowing regional styles to come through as the individual players put their own nuances into the mix. But this is not merely a tour of the Scottish musical dialects. We have influences from Scandinavia, Cape Breton and Quebec, as well as an utterly inspired interpretation of Bulgarian Gypsy origin which is one of those tunes that is great fun to listen to, but makes you very glad that you do not have to try to play it yourself.

Listening to this will prove to you that the judges got it absolutely right in their award this year – and I’ll bet that listening to this will make you want to try and catch a live performance.

www.blazinfiddles.com

Gordon Potter

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This album was reviewed in Issue 100 of The Living Tradition magazine.