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VARIOUS ARTISTS "Heat The Hoose 2" Foot Stompin' Records CDFSR1707

Simon Thoumire must be one of the busiest guys on the folk scene these days. Everywhere you go, there he is composing new material, playing tunes or, as here, turning his hand to record producing. And that's something he does rather well on the evidence of this CD.

Here we have sixteen tracks all featuring different fiddle players who contributed to the extravaganza that was "Fiddle 2000", the Scottish fiddle festival held in Edinburgh which showcases the instrument by bringing together more exponents than you could scrape a bow at and letting them get on with what they do best. To an extent , this album can be seen as a sampler of the range of styles, techniques and interpretations that can be produced, but stands up well in its own right as an exceptionally listenable recording which gives us some seventy minutes worth of pleasure.

One of the difficulties of trying to review a production like this is whether or not to name any of the contributors. To name only a few would be grossly unfair to the others, as there are no duff tracks here at all, but there's not enough room to list all of the musicians, as each track has a different line-up. There is a good balance between traditional and modern tunes and plenty of variety in pace, making the whole production go swinging along.

Fiddle enthusiasts will love this, and it should convert anybody who isn't one already.

Gordon Potter

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This album was reviewed in Issue 42 of The Living Tradition magazine.