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Private Label NFBCD001

A second outing from this trio of Shetlander, Swede and Norwegian is a treat indeed. Like their debut CD, Deliverance is pure fiddles, including the Hardanger version and some low-pitched relatives, all played by these three master musicians. Kevin Henderson has established himself as one of Shetland's finest, Anders Hall plays Swedish folk rock with SVER, and Olav Mjelva from Norway joins him in that group as well as producing magnificent music with Swedish Nyckelharpist, Erik Rydvall, who is not in Nordic Fiddlers Bloc. Mjelva also composed half the music here, from the dramatic old-timey Hen Hunt to the wistful title waltz celebrating the return of the sun. There are good notes on each tune, and a crisp Scandinavian feel to the artwork too.

Shetland is well represented, with Kevin's tune, Talons Trip To Thompson Island, opening proceedings, a driving modern reel, plus the traditional Scallowa Lasses and Lorna's Reel, composed by Willie Hunter. Olav even writes two tunes for Shetland: his In The Lounge evokes the lulls and squalls of an evening in Lerwick's most famous music bar, and the darker mood of Hjaltaren harks back to the days well before the invention of spam when Vikings claimed Scotland's northern isles. Three traditional numbers show the power and beauty of Swedish fiddle music with the grinding polska, Flinken, the more elaborate Djävulspolskan, and the gorgeous Hals Lilla Vals. All these pieces are arranged for three fiddlers, providing harmonies, rhythm and, at times, percussion in a wonderfully versatile performance. The final Nødåret is another of Olav Mjelva's works, a gently sad piece with a positive note nevertheless. Great music and great playing, Deliverance is a satisfying sequel to the excellent first album from Nordic Fiddlers Bloc. 

Alex Monaghan

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This album was reviewed in Issue 114 of The Living Tradition magazine.