‘Squall’ - debut solo album from Adam Sutherland(July 03, 2013)
Mention the name Adam Sutherland and many people and they will think of the fiddle player with such stalwarts of innovative Scottish folk as Peatbog Faeries or Session A9. From now on they will not only recall his collaborations with other musicians or membership of various bands the word ‘Squall’ will spring to mind – Adam’s debut solo album filled with self-penned compositions.
There are endless fiddle styles - edgy fiddle, aggressive fiddle, fast fiddle - whatever you care to hear. In this case there’s an overriding feel of mellow fiddle. The soundscape is gentle and reflective, the content rich and expansive, the impression serene and placid. Peaceful waltzes rub shoulders with laid-back jazz and relaxed swing jostling simplicity with complex melodies. Adam’s smooth touch on the fiddle is augmented by Marc Clement on guitar and keyboard, Iain Copeland delivering an exacting and embellished performance on drums and John Paul Speirs on electric and double bass. It’s not all tranquillity, a select smattering of Eastern European tunes and gypsy-inspired influences make their presence felt to impart added effervescence.
The opener ‘Throb the Robot/ Rosie Shand of Grantown’ is vibrant, ‘Iris’ exudes an old school jazz feel, ‘Europarty’ offers subtle Eastern overtones, while ‘Steve Forman’s’ builds steadily into a heady brew of fiddle and drums. The standout memory of this album is perhaps unsurprisingly the title track ‘Squall’ – the juxtaposition of stillness, foreboding and intensity as the storm builds and then dissipates is stunning.
'Squall’ was recorded in front of a studio audience and each of them appears in a gallery of 'framed photographs' on the sleeve, which in itself is a neat piece of art. 'Squall' is available from www.adamsutherland.co.uk
Reviewer: Dan Holland