Matheu Watson

Dunrobin Place

(Seer)

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Matheu Watson isn't up for the Band of the Year title at the imminent Scots Trad Music Awards, although he could easily pass for several bands on this, his second CD. It's literally a solo album, with Watson playing all 20 or so instruments, as well as composing most of the tunes. What's so special about it, however, is not just that he brings character and personality to everything he plays, he also uses great arranging skills so the pudding is never over-egged. The opening Ceit And Eilidh's has the jinking mandolin melodic style of Full House-era Fairport Convention. Louis' evokes the Bothy Band's driving momentum and the grainy, old soul-style fiddle that opens Stilligarry House is a superb tribute to Watson's mentor, Highland fiddler Aonghas Grant. Essentially an aural diary of Watson's travels over the past three years, culminating in the Blue Mountains-flavoured title track that brings him back home to Edinburgh, Dunrobin Place is an utterly brilliant achievement by a young master musician.

Rob Adam