Foot Stompin’ Free Scottish Music Podcast No. 25 Scottish Fiddle feature

Foot Stompin Scottish Music - Filska

Foot Stompin' Scottish Music - Filska

Listen to the Foot Stompin’ Free Scottish Music Podcast

The first 2 weeks of October have just rushed by! It’s been a busy time with the semi-finals of the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician. We had a great time a an excellent concert. Our curry party afterwards was good as well. The six finalists are:

Adam Holmes – guitar, song (Edinburgh)
Lorne MacDougall – pipes, whistle (Carradale, Argyll)
Ruairidh Macmillan – fiddle (Nairn)
Kenneth Nicolson – Gaelic song (Lochs, Isle of Lewis)
Jack Smedley – fiddle (Buckie, Banffshire)
Daniel Thorpe – fiddle (Inverurie)

These guys (and yes they are all male!) will go through to the finals on the 1st February at the prestigeous Celtic Connections festival. They will play a very different music stage to the one they played in Coulter. It is much larger and will sound completely different to play. Also the fact of it being a final will make them have to think about it differently.

I was also in Cardiff last week in an exciting development for our Distil project. Dave Francis and I have been funded to develop our Distil project for Welsh traditional musicians. Our first residential event happens in Snowdonia in February. I’ll keep the blog addressed with developments.

I’ve also managed to update our Foot Stompin’ YouTube page with three new videos. I bought a Flip video camera after a great discussion on the Foot Stompin’ forum. I’m using to film as many Scottish musicians as I can get to. I started off with a new film of myself playing The Bee’s Wing Hornpipe. I felt like going a bit mad at the end and tried to emulate this in the video editing. Some like it – some screw there face up! I’ve also filmed some brilliant fiddling from Glasgow’s Katie Boyle and great pianoing from Shetland’s Harris Playfair.

Back to the podcast. I wanted to do a fiddle feature for this edition as I just love the instrument. I started off with Jenna Reid’s band Filska. Their A Thousand Miles Away CD came out a few years back on Foot Stompin’ This track show off the amazing Shetland technique.

I followed this with a track of Shona Mooney’s brilliant album Heartsease. This is easily for me the most original fiddle album to come out in years. Her material selection is great and features many reels and slower pieces from the Scottish Borders. The thing that made this album stand out is the thought that goes into the arrangements and Shona’s skill to try out new ideas.

No fiddle podcast would be complete without the music of Perthshire’s Neil Gow. Neil Gow is one of the classic tune writers of all time. He lived in the 18th century and published many tune books. The track is played by Pete Clark, a beautiful fiddler whose has concentrated on this particular style of playing.

We next interview Jenny Wrigley. I’ve known Jennifer (and her sister Hazel) for years as we used to play together in Edinburgh. Jennifer is an amazing player with great tone and technique. She is also an excellent tune writer and has added many new tunes to her Orkney tradition. In the interview she explains the Orkney style. I follow this with a track from her last album Skyran.

I finish the podcast with a track from Allan Henderson. Estb. 1976 CD came out a few years back and I’ve always loved it. I really like Allan’s highland style solo and with Blazin’ Fiddles. I remember travelling to Canada with Allan and his younger sister Ingrid Henderson. Ingrid had just won the Radio 2 Young Trad Award in 1990 and part of her prize was to go to Vancouver Folk Festival. They were great players even then but most of all I remember the whole family (including Mum and Dad) all dressed in blue shell suits for the trip. Oh memories…

2 Responses

  1. I really liked this podcast.. I have always like the sound of the fiddle, especially the scottish way =) Great podcast, I just subscribe to it. I’m glad I stumbled upon it, keep up the great work…

  2. I really really enjoyed the special “fiddle” edition of your podcast (which I love anyway). Thanks for almost half an hour of great music and interesting commentaries! Keep up the good work!

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