The Brightest Path
There is a telling credit at the start of the thank-yous on fiddler Patsy Reid's new CD which possibly explains its undoubted success as a coherent album, particularly given the pleasing diversity of its contents.
Reid, whose own diversity encompasses classical violin as well as the fullest exploration of traditional sources, chooses to begin her list with an acknowledgment of the people who run Crear, the arts retreat and venue in Argyll that is also popular for weddings (Glasgow subway users may know the adverts that feature a quote from Travis's Fran Healy).
Clearly she and her excellent sextet, many of whom are well known for work in their own right and with others, spent some time workshopping these selections in an atmosphere free from distractions to achieve the focus that unites her own compositions, from the lively opener Hooray Henry to the wistful family-dedicated closer, The Baby Tune with guitarist Ewan MacPherson's The River Princes, Donald Shaw's A Precious Place, Half Acre from Brooklyn's Hem and Patty Griffin's Kite Song.
It's a great selection, recorded by drummer Mattie Foulds at Crear and mastered by Stuart Hamilton at Castlesound. It may not be the most original recipe in Scottish music, but it sure is tasty.