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Private Label SCHMOOZCD003

An eighth studio album in 28 years is hardly a prolific output and after so many line-up changes that I have stopped counting (although there is one remaining original member - Mary Macmaster) we have now arrived at an interesting juncture where we have four multi-instrumentalists who are able to collectively command the listener’s attention like never before. With three fiddlers out of four members, it would be easy to dismiss this as another fiddle band (of which there’s no shortage in Scotland) but there’s something that defies definition that runs through The Poozies – first and foremost is the tenet that music making is fun and entertaining. It is here in droves. Newby multi-instrumentalist Sarah McFadyen from Orkney contributes her own song, Soaking, about somebody taking too long in a bath, that seems weird on first hearing but becomes a ‘seek out’ track subsequently – hilarious. Eilidh Shaw (now also a Shooglenifty member) is like a musical anchor that seems able to structure the fiddle medleys perfectly. The other new addition, Tia Files, has the guitar chops to counterpoint the fiddle orientated tunes where necessary and appropriate. Other highlights include their take on Jim Sutherland’s Isobel and the closing track (the Deanie Cox song, Easily Led), but the tune sets work well for me. Took me a while to get used to the minimal harp content, but now I’m a born-again fiddle evangelist. These four ladies rock.

Grem Devlin

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This album was reviewed in Issue 124 of The Living Tradition magazine.