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BACK OF THE MOON - Luminosity

BACK OF THE MOON - Luminosity
Foot Stompin' Records CDFSR1730

A third album from these award-winning yougsters is more than welcome. Luminosity shows them in the best light yet. The core line-up of Gillian Frame on fiddle, Findlay and Hamish Napier on guitar and keyboards respectively, and Ali Hutton on pipes and whistles is intelligently augmented by Christine Hanson's cello and Rick Taylor's trombones. Vocals are shared by Gillian and the Napiers, with three of the six songs delivered by Findlay and two by Gillian. Gillian also contributes five tunes, Hamish two, and Ali one.

The six instrumental tracks are rich and varied, plenty of punch from pipes and fiddle, a charming gentle slow air from Hamish, and a good choice of tunes old and new. The set of four reels referred to as Hawp is a stotter (for the benefit of non-weegies, that's a good thing). Ali Hutton's Voodoo Chilli has its own special atmosphere, and I look forward to more of his tunes next time. It's nice to hear Phil Cunningham's Bombadier Beetle again, and the two pipe jigs with it are equally enjoyable. There's a slightly bottom-heavy feel to the tracks without Ali's pipes, but this is actually a plus on the lush instrumental accompaniment to the songs.

Findlay Napier's voice has grown and matured into a powerful instrument indeed, and he makes good use of it on the traditional ballads The Mill Mill O and Glenlogie. Ship in a Bottle is a gentler song, written and sung by a more low-key Findlay. Hamish sings a delightfully upbeat version of The Brewer's Lad, and Gillian divides her light sweet voice between a murder ballad and Archie Fisher's depressing Final Trawl. Backing vocals and arrangements are spot on. Luminosity is a well-produced album with depth and spirit, a varied and polished example of young Scottish talent, well worth a whirl.

Alex Monaghan

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This album was reviewed in Issue 66 of The Living Tradition magazine.