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Errogie Records ERROGIE01CD

This album is seriously good fun. Loch Ness fiddler and composer extraordinaire Adam Sutherland has put together 13 original compositions in nine tracks, with a small backing band on drums, guitar and bass. That might not sound much, but this is a man who has supplied countless catchy tunes to the session scene, played in a wide range of bands from Croft Number 5 to Session A9 and gained composer credits on albums from all over the world. A whole CD of Adam's music is something special indeed. The fiddle style on Squall spans Scottish and American folk, modern and traditional, jazz and light classical and that curious Shetland lounge swing. Thorb The Robot has contemporary rhythmic twists - or are they echoes of the numerous Celtic melodies with missing beats? Tallysow is gently hypnotic, and is followed by a shamelessly sultry waltz. Iris sits somewhere between Stephane Grappelli and Vassar Clements, country jazz with a thirties feel. Europarty is more akin to the music of Adam's pals in the Treacherous Orchestra, as is the title track, evocative and slightly scary fiddling on a dark background.

Adam pays tribute to Sandor Feher, a Hungarian violinist who was drowned in the ill-fated Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia and to percussionist Steve Forman, both inspiring musicians. Ship #81 is more upbeat, a driving gritty reel and even Pacific Trash is light and funky. The final medley of Mad Mike's Return To Rum and The Roybridge Reel is pure indulgence, sparkling tunes which give Adam a chance to demonstrate his phenomenal fiddling. There are fine performances throughout from John Paul Spiers on bass, Marc Clement on guitar and Iain Copeland on drums, a star-studded back line, but even they are hard pressed to keep up with Sutherland's virtuosity. If you have any interest in fiddle music, I strongly recommend you give Squall a listen - has all you need to know.

Alex Monaghan

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This album was reviewed in Issue 97 of The Living Tradition magazine.