Link to Living Tradition Homepage






Luckenbooth Records LUCKEN002CD 

This is the much awaited second album from the winner of the BBC Young Traditional Musician of the Year in 2015. I will spare you the “second album syndrome” thing, but would add that a cliché is only a truth worn out by constant use.

However, this album effortlessly jumps that second album hurdle with something to spare. It is a blend of original and traditional songs with a common theme of journeys: and throughout, the album just oozes integrity, helped in no small measure, not just by the dazzling studio musicians, but by Claire’s obvious ability to get inside a traditional lyric to such an extent that you’d swear she wrote it.

Andrew Waite’s accordion work is something to behold throughout: dazzling virtuoso runs that put a frisson through me, like no accordionist since Flaco Jiménez. And I love the fact that the album makes no concessions to the non-Scots audience: there is no glossary, so if you did not know what words like chiels / chaumers / hadden / creepie mean, then you’d better look them up.

I liked the non Claire Hastings written material well enough, though there was nothing quite as strong as her own (ukulele accompanied) rendition of Annie Laurie on her first album. One longed for her doing similar with a Bonnie Bessie Logan or a Bogie’s Bonnie Belle, but there was no song quite as majestic. However, her own songs really came good here, with the delightful Fair Weather Beggar the clear best song of an accomplished album.

Dai Woosnam

Secure On-line mailorder service
Many CDs we review are available from The Listening Post.
Check to see if this CD is available.

The Listening Post is the CD mailorder service of The Living Tradition magazine.
This album was reviewed in Issue 127 of The Living Tradition magazine.