Tune Book

Tune Book

Edinburgh Folk Club

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Rob Adams

The thinking behind the name is simple: all three of the core players - fiddler Simon Bradley, accordionist Mairearad Green and piper-whistle player Ross Ainslie - have published books of their compositions in recent times. It is also easy to hear why many of these tunes, including the notably winsome final medley featuring one contribution from each composer, have become popular items in the folk session repertoire.

Individually there is no denying the talent available here and with Mhairi Hall (keyboard) and Mattheu Watson (guitar), popular and in-demand accompanists both, drafted in as the rhythm section, the potential of this quintet is mighty. This was only their second or third gig together and there are elements that might need worked on and more variety of colour, tone and texture to be found, as well as more adventure in terms of harmony, but when they gather momentum, as they did on the jigs set including Green's Full Tilt, there is already considerable excitement in the tank.

The same set also showed a willingness to deviate from the normal dynamic path by first building impetus then bringing the level down and letting the melody breathe - a nice touch. Bradley's association with Asturias introduced a slightly more exotic quality, including a fandango, and if the titles he gave one particular tune set did not mean quite what he hoped to his Asturian friends, the melodies themselves hit the mark.

Bradley's set of sad waltzes was another high point, despite the downbeat impression given, and Ainslie's beer-themed duet on pipes with Watson demonstrated the high level of musicianship on tap, as it were, in a group whose development will be well worth following.