Fiddlers' Bid certainly made connections in this well-deserved showcase in Celtic Connections' flagship venue. Never mind the tediously persistent preoccupation with whether such connections have a Celtic qualification, they were broad but musically compatible ones.

Indeed, Olov Johansson's nyckelharpa slotted in like a natural eighth instrument. This Swedish hurdy-gurdy-cum-fiddle combination often suggests itself in the Scandinavian overtones within the Shetlanders' music and Johansson's duet with the Bid's Catriona McKay, on harp rather than piano, was typical of the high-end accomplishment the latter consistently brings to her role in the band.

Crossing different waters introduced a country music element with Shetlanders' favourite Cape Bretonner, J P Cormier, Irish-American vigour with Solas's Seamus Egan and Winifred Horan, the ear-catching musical energy and sartorial colour of cellist Rushad Eggleston from contemporary bluegrassers Crooked Still, and a haunting other-worldliness from Faroese singer Eivor Palsdottir.

If expanded arrangements just occasionally slipped into the "everyone managed to finish at the same time and nobody was hurt" category, such rough-hewn moments can't detract from Fiddlers' Bid's essentially harmonious nature and only added to the evening's character and spontaneity.

Cormier and the Bid's Fionan de Barra produced a sparky, impromptu flat-picking guitar duel that would have graced the Louisiana Hayride, and Eggleston's pulsating cello and vocal contribution alongside Palsdottir bordered on musical voodoo.

Palsdottir's singing - redolent of both Native American and Inuit - reinforces the notion that the Faroes might once have formed part of the land mass that connected Amerindians with Laplanders, and her spiritual intonations on the tenderly prolonged finale, Foroyar Tune, suggested that the music was truly in the gods of the Lapp.