Can cottage industry recording get any more sophisticated? From their base in south-west Scotland, Emily Smith (BBC Radio Scotland Traditional Musician of the Year in 2002) and her partner, guitarist and fiddler Jamie McClennan, have produced an album - her fifth - that features an international cast of
musicians, whose ingredients may have been assembled in Dumfriesshire, but were sent from Nashville and New York as well as Glasgow.
Not in any sort of a token way either. Alongside the couple's regular trio of Matheu Watson, Ross Hamilton and Signy Jakobsdottir, the dobro and lap steel of the great Jerry Douglas are all over these tracks, and Aoife O'Donovan's backing vocals are a crucial contribution on four tracks as well.
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The best of these are Twa Sisters, a great example of Smith's clever way of taking a traditional song and making it appeal to lovers of contemporary Americana, and The Final Trawl, a modern shanty from the pen of Scots elder statesman Archie Fisher. As that choice shows, her taste in the songsmithing of others is also astute, embracing Open Door from the Crooked Road album by Darrell Scott (of Robert Plant's Band Of Joy) and a Victorian lyric by Thomas Carlyle, no less.