‘Bare Knuckle’ Chris Stout - Catriona McKay startling combination of talent and expertise(December 04, 2017)
There’s little doubt that this inspired pairing created something rather special, the only tinge of regret is the time we’ve had to wait between their first album and their latest. However, the new album, ‘Bare Knuckle’ from Shetland fiddler Chris Stout and Dundee-born harper Catriona McKay, although a long time coming, is an occasion for celebration because it shows how this duo have developed and expanded their art.
‘Bare Knuckle’ implies a slightly pugilistic, gloves-off approach, be that as it may there is nothing heavy handed or aggressive going on here. There is however an authority to the self-penned tracks that comes from this startling combination of talent and expertise. Never is there a moment across the album when you’re not thoroughly pulled into its freshness and inventive expression. The exchanges and interactions between the artists are riveting as they move their instruments to flow and flux in unison or spar and duel in opposition. Together and independently they make the tunes living breathing entities - 'Seeker Reaper' to 'Louise's Waltz' and 'Moscow Rush' to 'Tingholm' – the result is breathtaking.
Review: Charlie Elland