Album Review | TMSA | Review by Allan Wilkinson | Stars: 4/5
Ensemble performances by the finalists and winners of last year’s BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year Competition. As opportunities arise for our younger musicians, a spirit of unity supersedes a spirit of competition and the ten selections here demonstrates that unity perfectly well. With some outstanding musicianship and confident vocal performances, Hannah Rarity, Rory Matheson, Amy Papiransky, Alexander Levack, David Sedden, Luc McNally and Charlie Stewart shine under the directorship of Anna Massie. Selecting from a deep well of both traditional and original material, including songs from the pens of Amy Papiransky, Brian McNeill and Findlay Napier, both songs and tunes are treated to fine arrangements, each musician’s contribution demonstrating startling maturity.
The TMSA (Traditional Music and Song Association) of Scotland was established over fifty years ago and as a membership organisation continues to nurture new and exciting talent from north of the border. The voice of last year’s winner Hannah Rarity is represented here with a fine performance of Brian McNeill’s “Strong Women Rule Us All”, whilst Rory Matheson’s fingers walk all over the keyboard with Scott Skinner’s “The Mathematician”, but it’s the ensemble pieces such as the traditional “Tae the Beggin’” that demonstrates the collective’s chops best.
Choice Track: “Tae the Beggin'” (NSV 485)