‘Crossing Borders’ by Graham Mackenzie - an introduction that promises much(October 24, 2016)
Open the album cover and you find tracks sectioned into ‘Scotland, Manchester, Cape Breton and Scotland’. Not necessarily descriptive of the tracks’ origins in a geographical sense, they more accurately refer to where Highland fiddler, Graham Mackenzie was living, staying and studying as various influences worked their magic on his composing skills. His debut album, ‘Crossing Borders’ is certainly a passage through physical places, it’s also a trip through experience, memory and reminiscences – and importantly it’s an introduction that promises much.
Mackenzie’s music perfectly translates the impact of places and people through the most sensitive of touches on his chosen instrument. In his hands, the fiddle expresses every nuance and intimation of one man’s journey presented in a way that takes the listener along too. From the emotion of ‘Tune for Grandad’ and the vibrancy of ‘The Central’ it’s a short step to ‘The Eee Reel’ and the delightful slow reel ‘Hartswood Road’. The ‘Cape Breton Set’ evokes all you would expect of highly accented Cape Breton music and ‘Mrs Mackenzie’s’ has to rank among the most moving of fiddle tunes.
Joining Graham Mackenzie on ‘Crossing Borders’ are: Megan Henderson (fiddle, step dance) Robbie Mackenzie (fiddle) Innes Watson (viola, guitar) Alice Allen (cello) Stewart Wilson (double bass) Ciorstaidh Beaton (clarsach) Scott Wood (whistles, pipes) Jim Molyneux (piano) and Alison Mackenzie (piano).
Review: Tom Franks