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Rumford Records RUMFORDCD03

Edinburgh-born and now Falkirk-based fiddler Marie Fielding is one of the hardest-working traditional musicians in Scotland, turning up in all manner of groups and dance bands. Maybe she wanted a break from all that, so came up with a “session in the pub” theme for this latest release. But we all know that such sessions are where you get the best tunes, and that’s exactly what happens here.

Marie has good taste in session musicians too. Here we have Tom Orr, accordion and piano; Donogh Hennessy, guitars; Trevor Hutchinson, double bass; Jimmy Higgins, percussion; Pauline Scanlon, song; Damien Mullane, accordion; and Laura Kerr, fiddles. With all that to complement Marie’s own fiddles and strings, it’s guaranteed to be a cracker.

Featuring a lot of Marie’s own compositions as well as some that have been around for a bit longer, this whole album has a lightness and freshness to it which carries the listener along, and truly there’s not a bad track on it. The varying instrumentation adds to the variety, but it’s the sheer musicianship of the whole thing which strikes home. A tip of the hat also to Donogh Hennessy, who not only adds guitar, but also produced, recorded and mixed the whole thing in Ireland, and Stuart Hamilton, who mastered it back in Scotland. The overall effect does have the feel of a session about it, but with a clarity for all of the instruments which is not always possible in the pub!

A very enjoyable release indeed, as you would expect from someone of Marie’s calibre.

Gordon Potter

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This album was reviewed in Issue 110 of The Living Tradition magazine.