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Private Label JLP1502

There tends to be a preconception, this side of the Atlantic, when the word “Canadian” is used in a traditional music context, to think of the East Coast, where the mighty Cape Breton, Nova Scotian and Québecois sounds rub shoulders. What about the other side of the country? Well, on the strength of this release, we need to get over to the far west quickly.

Jocelyn is a fiddler, stepdancer, singer and composer from the British Columbia coast, and she draws on a whole range of influences, including the aforementioned Cape Breton and Québec, as well as Ireland, Scotland, Brittany, Galicia and Scandinavia. Irrespective of the music’s origin, Jocelyn tackles it with verve, panache and, more importantly, obvious enjoyment. Her bowing technique is both elegant and driving, getting all the nuances of the tunes, no matter their provenance. But it doesn’t stop at the one instrument, as she broadens the tonal palette with octave fiddle and octave viola, as well as singing and driving foot-percussion.

Her singing voice is clear and strong, with an especially fine rendition of Kate Rusby’s Walk The Road, a song that could never fail to give inspiration.

She is accompanied here by her father Joel Pettit on bodhrán, cajon and vocals, and mother Siew Wan Khoo on piano, along with another 11 guest musicians. The changing line-ups help give even more variety to what is an exceptionally enjoyable CD.

As far as I can make out, she hasn’t visited Scotland in the last 10 years, so it’s high time she came back!

Gordon Potter

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