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LUC MCNALLY - Night Off 

LUC MCNALLY - Night Off 
Private Label LUC001 

Luc McNally is a young singer and guitarist from County Durham, now based in Glasgow. After a grounding with Folkestra youth ensemble and Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and nomination for BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year, he’s making his way with this short but impressive album.

His main strength is his guitar playing in a flatpicking style. The Aye? set, in which he follows Martyn Bennett’s tune with a traditional tune and one of his own, is a superb highlight. His Private Beach and Borrowed Hat compositions are also fine. He builds up a layered sound through multi-tracking and with help from musicians including his co-producer Graham Rorie on fiddle and mandolin.

There’s a warmth to his singing as well as his playing. I liked the opening Grace Kelly Blues, written by Mark Oliver Everett of The Eels, and Fly Me To Some Desert Isle with words by Robert Tannahill put to a traditional tune. Michael Marra’s The Beast (sung unaccompanied) and Randy Newman’s I Think It’s Going To Rain Today are a rather downbeat way to round things off.

Hard times for young musicians. I gather that the release of the album has been brought forward, and I hope that Luc can tour with it before too long so he can get the attention which his talents deserve.

Tony Hendry


This review appeared in Issue 135 of The Living Tradition magazine