The surprising thing about Eilidh Shaw and Ross Martin’s first album together isn’t so much that it took them 15 years of living and playing together to get round to recording it as that they travelled over to the studio at Sabhal Mor Ostaig on Skye to do so.

The result of these daily trips gives every impression that they might have got the fire on in their kitchen in Morar and set a tape running instead, so homely and comfortable with each other do Shaw’s fiddle and voice and Martin’s guitar sound.

Long years with folk groups the Poozies and Daimh respectively have given their playing character and the mostly instrumental tracks variously swing, march, reel and waltz with a conversational air as Martin provides the relaxed energy that probes Shaw’s unadorned phrasing and attention to the melody.

Loading article content

Shaw’s song The Lines of Time, although written about an older couple, emphasises this pair’s feeling of easy togetherness and while most of the material is Highland in origin, Are You Lonesome Tonight and Can’t Help Falling in Love’s appropriation as a Gaelic waltz medley and Shaw’s soft intoning of Bruce Springsteen’s Dancing in the Dark somehow add to the Highland charm.