Review Archive

‘Fickle Fortune’ by Robyn Stapleton – an instinctive and distinctive voice

(May 03, 2015)

In 2014, Robyn Stapleton deservedly won BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician, since then her gloriously listenable, pure and incredibly warm voice has made her a much sought after talent. Add to the vivid voice an astonishing ability to interpret folk song traditions and you begin to understand the calibre of this lady’s gifts. To appreciate her instinctive and distinctive voice, simply add her debut album ‘Fickle Fortune’ your music collection.fickle fortune robyn stapleton

‘Fickle Fortune’ selects from the Scottish and Irish tradition to mix twelve songs that flow across cautionary tales, heart-wrenching laments, social narratives and life examinations. The twists and turns of both fate and fortune in the songs reflect not only the nature of so many folk stories but also personal experiences, and both echo through the focus of Robyn’s vocals. The spread of the album reflects through a fine take on the many-versioned ‘The Two Sisters’, the woeful ‘Bruach Na Carraige Báine’ sung in Irish Gaelic, before celebrating the work of the weaver through ‘The Shuttle Row’ and a superb version of Sir Walter Scott’s deeply powerful words set to the beautiful tune by Donal Ban MacCrimmon, the moving ‘MacCrimmon’s Lament’. There are classic tales like ‘Jack Hawk’s Adventures in Glasgow’ to add traditional humour, the ballad ‘Willie o’Winsbury’ telling a tale of love triumphant and the well-known song of simple pleasures ‘The Lads That Were Amang Heather’.

As a debut album ‘Fickle Fortune’ delivers precisely what lovers of Robyn Stapleton’s voice have come to expect. Musicians playing alongside Robyn are Alistair Iain Paterson (Piano) Kristan Harvey (fiddle) Hajime Takahashi (guitar) and Stephen Heffernan (accordion). Website:

Reviewer: Charlie Elland

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