Link to Living Tradition Homepage





VARIOUS ARTISTS - TMSA Young Trad Tour 2019 

VARIOUS ARTISTS - TMSA Young Trad Tour 2019 

Every year, the Traditional Music and Song Association of Scotland brings together the winner and finalists of the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Of The Year Award to create an album and tour. The 2019 Young Trad Tour was scheduled to take place this May, but for obvious reasons had to be postponed. The release of this fine album shows just how much we are missing.

The 2019 winner, Benedict Morris (fiddle), is joined here by finalists Sarah Markey (flute), Luc McNally (guitar/vocals), Ross Miller (bagpipes), Cameron Ross (fiddle), Catherine Tinney (vocals), and 2018 winner, Hannah Rarity (vocals). There are 10 tracks, one each on which they take the lead, and three where they all contribute; these include the opening, unmistakably Scottish Big Set, complete with the big pipes and puirt à beul, and the closing song, In Freenship’s Name, sensitively handled.

All seven participants shine, from Catherine’s beautiful Gaelic song, Ho Rò Chan Eil Cadal Orm, to Hannah’s stripped back Go And Leave Me and Luc’s rendition of Michael Marra’s Hamish (The Goalie). The tune sets are full of youthful exuberance, but never at the expense of musicality. Cameron’s fiery strathspey/reel set; Sarah’s flute set demonstrating her flair for playing Irish repertoire; Ross’s fabulous set on the Highland pipes; and Benedict’s shockingly fast yet perfectly accurate set showing exactly why he earned the 2019 prize – all great sets played as they should be. Proper music.

Credit should be given to Findlay Napier and Anna Massie who as musical directors guided the musicians through the process, and to Angus Lyon and Chris Waite for the impeccable recording. This is a nicely rounded, very enjoyable album. Let’s hope we get the chance to see the tour.

Fiona Heywood


This review appeared in Issue 136 of The Living Tradition magazine