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PATSY REID - A Glint O' Scottish Fiddle 

PATSY REID - A Glint O' Scottish Fiddle 
Classy Trad Records CTREC003

After a couple of superb albums establishing her credentials as a composer, innovator and performer par excellence, Patsy Reid is returning to her Perthshire roots for this recording of traditional Scottish fiddle tunes. Following in the bowstrokes of both Gow and Skinner, A Glint O' Scottish Fiddle contains mainly old Scots fiddle tunes from the East Coast tradition: Miss Drummond Of Perth, The Scolding Wives Of Abertarff, Mrs Graham Of Balgowan and many more with less obvious geographic associations. Compositions by J D Michie of Brechin, James Hill of Dundee, Charles Grant of Knockandu, as well as Gow and Skinner, sit alongside pieces too ancient to have a known composer. There's a nod to the piping schools with G S MacLennan's march Pipe Major John Stewart, and a fine tribute to the late great Lochaber fiddler Angus R Grant with his popular melody 2:50 To Vigo. Patsy also finds space for a Cape Breton quickstep and reel, and a set of modern jigs, but the core of this collection comes from the golden age of Perthshire fiddling over a century ago.

Bow and fingers tease out strathspeys, reels, marches and more. Ms Reid delivers the classic strathspey Strathearn with exquisite tenderness, easing into a set of powerful old reels. Neil Gow's Farewell To Whisky always brings a tear to my eye - more for the title than the melody - and here it's followed by the showpiece hornpipe, The Marquis Of Waterford, which gives us a chance to appreciate the delicacy of Patsy's fiddle technique before she launches into a lovely Jerry Holland reel. There are no low points at all on A Glint O' Scottish Fiddle, but I will mention one more highlight, the wonderful Scott Skinner reel The Auld Wheel, finely seasoned and served up by an exceptional fiddler. Accompanied only by the deft piano of Alistair Iain Paterson, Patsy Reid has produced an enchanting CD here. Perhaps Perthshire is entering a new golden age of fiddle music. 

Alex Monaghan

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This album was reviewed in Issue 123 of The Living Tradition magazine.