‘Upsurge’ by The Scott Wood Band – Scottish musical invention and freedom(August 26, 2015)
An EP released in 2012 first caught my attention, now The Scott Wood Band have increased from the original trio to a five-piece, widened and expanded their sound, and released their debut album, ‘Upsurge’. This album is primarily Scottish in its essence, traditional in its roots yet it also reveals inspirations from folk, rock and jazz, all poured into a melting pot that driven by Scott Woods’ skirling pipes produces ‘Scots that rocks’. That’s not to say that this is all fast and furious, far from it, throughout the album they mix a surge of upbeat ‘irresistible urge to dance’ numbers with thoughtful tunes that stimulate reflection.
The originality of output takes this album far from being another reiteration of Scottish traditional music with the addition of percussion and electrics, and moves it into a realm of Scottish musical invention and freedom. The original tunes sparkle with life and vivacity or reveal slow reflective melodies – all the time awash with meaning to hold the listener’s attention. From the ebullient energy of tracks like ‘Spice of Life’, ‘Sheep Running About’ and the frenetic ’All the 8’s’, which refuse to allow your feet to rest, to the enveloping experiences of ‘Craro’, ‘Interlude’, the warm embrace of ‘Mr. Sloan’ and ‘McCready’s’ there’s a formidable involvement at work.
The Scott Wood Band are Scott Wood (bagpipes, whistle, vocals) Mhairi Mackinnon (fiddle, violin, vocals) Ron Jappy (acoustic guitar, vocals) Angus Tikka (bass, vocals) and Mark Scobbie (drums. percussion, vocals) also playing on ‘Upsurge’ are guest musicians Davie Dunsmuir (electric guitar) Graham MacKenzie (violin) Liam Brolly (viola) Alice Allen (cello) and Calum Mac Crimmon (vocals)
Review: Charlie Elland