Album Review | Bow Fiddle Records | Review by Allan Wilkinson
Findochty’s Ron Jappy describes this album as having been drawn together from the viewpoint as an accompanist, his most important role in music, or so he believes. The variety of styles brought together here confirms this notion and the ten songs and tunes included probably offer something for everybody, those already in tune with Celtic music and those completely new to it. Whether self-penned, traditional or contemporary, each of the selections represent the various styles and genres that have influenced this much sought after musician and arranger over the years. The opening set “Trouble”, incorporates three jigs, the first composed by Jamie Smith, the second by himself and a third by Graham Mackenzie, yet it all sounds pretty much unified as the set builds. A fine opening set, yet not indicative of what follows further into the album. The gorgeous “A Place Called Home” for instance, a song co-written with and featuring a fine vocal courtesy of Ainsley Hamill, couldn’t be further from the strident pipes-laden opener, nor could the impressive “Mairead Nan Cuiread”, delivered in Gaelic, which tells the story of an angry young girl responding to false accusations. The slow airs have all the grace associated with music from north of the border, notably “Northburn Creek” and “A Day to Remember”, a waltz written as a wedding gift to friends. If someone wrote a tune so beautiful for me, I would be more than chuffed (in fact, in my case any tune would actually do!). Plenty to go at then with this fine debut, which features an array of fine musicians who’ve helped to shape this musician’s musical vision.