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Oak Ridge Records ORR01CD

Take five young musicians with a solid background in various bands and great things can happen. Listen to this release and you can easily understand why Scott Wood Band was nominated for Folk Band of the Year at the 2014 Scots Trad Music Awards.

The line-up is Scott Wood (bagpipes, whistle, vocals), Mhairi Mackinnon (fiddle, vocals), Ron Jappy (acoustic guitar, vocals), Angus Tikka (bass, vocals) and Mark Scobbie (drums, percussion, vocals). They are joined on several tracks by Davie Dunsmuir (electric guitar), Graham Mackenzie (violin), Liam Brolly (viola), Alice Allen (cello) and Calum MacCrimmon (vocals) for an even fuller sound on some of the tracks. Given that between them they have toured with the likes of Mànran, Wolfstone, Skerryvore, Rura and others, it will come as no surprise that this is not a band to sit in a corner playing genteel chamber music. This is a band with a clear idea of how to adapt traditional themes for their up-front instrumentation, and the end result is sensational.

There’s no doubt that this is a band which was made for the larger-scale venue, and their well-pumped sound would easily fill any space in which they perform. But don’t think that this means there is a lack of nuance and subtlety to the playing – far from it. Most of the tracks are self-penned or contemporary and the band show a complete mastery of their music, as well as an infectious enthusiasm in their playing.

This is a group to look out for, as I feel they will be much in demand in the future.

Gordon Potter

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This album was reviewed in Issue 111 of The Living Tradition magazine.