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Shouty Records SHOUTYCD04

Two Scottish multi-instrumentalists with commendable solo careers and band involvements behind them, Anna Massie and Mairearad Green need little introduction. Their new album is their third duet recording and their latest since Best Day in 2016. The mix of instruments includes fiddle, pipes, accordion and guitar, and provides a subtle yet invigorating sound where the tunes have space to breathe and establish their melodic contents within the context of sets.

Farran has nine tracks and eight are instrumental sets. Coigach has Mairearad’s pipes out front, and her accordion takes the lead for Wee McGhee’s with Anna’s solid backup guitar work a sterling accompaniment. Anna’s guitar lead on The Merton Set is a subtle delight, and the flowing accordion work takes over the lead sweetly. The sole vocal track, Molly May, continues the addition of songs introduced on their previous album; this time JP Cormier’s sea-faring ballad fits within the context of tunes and songs related to nautical and island connections. The music featured is both Irish and Scottish, with subtle interplay of styles - Jamie’s Polka has the fling of a Sliabh Luachra tune, Polcai Eoin swings gracefully, and Anna’s fiddle combines with Mairearad’s accordion on Wille Macrae’s before taking off.

There is a supple flow of ideas and mutual support in this music and its articulation, and this lies at the heart of Farran’s appeal. This is a masterclass of musical telepathy and instrumental virtuosity.

John O’Regan

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This album was reviewed in Issue 125 of The Living Tradition magazine.