Review Archive

Fiona Hunter debut solo album – Scottish song to captivate

(February 22, 2014)

Fiona Hunter has one of those stunningly attractive voices made all the more alluring by an irresistible accent and faultless interpretation of tradition. Add to that her skill in making the cello evoke the depths of Fiona Hunter album-font-cover-her songs and you have something rather special. Her debut solo album releases on 3 March and having listened to a preview, I have no reservations in telling you to go out and buy a copy.

Perhaps best known as vocalist and cellist with Malinky, renowned for their focus on Scots traditional song, Fiona has with this album laid down a statement to establish her position among the best that Scotland has to offer in traditional music. The moods flow and form to create a tapestry of sound, an invocation that leads you through its weave. From the outset the scope of song is enveloping. The delightful opener of Robert Tannahill’s remembrance of love in ‘The Braes of Gleniffer’and the glittering ‘The Laird O Drum’ through the comical, tongue-in-cheek roguishness of Robbie Burns with ‘Weary Pund O’Tow’ to the weary working song ‘Shift and Spin/ The Shoemaker’ and the reunited lovers in ‘The Bleacher Lass of Kelvinhaugh/ Fiona Hunter’s’ there’s a singing soul at work here. The murder ballad genre is visited through the infanticide of ‘The Cruel Mother’ while the darkly affecting tale of ‘Young Emsley’ explores yet another killing, and to contrast the mood once more there’s the ebullience of a lesson learned with ‘Jock Hawkes Adventures in Glasgow’.

Should you undergo an irresistible urge to bathe your ears with Scottish song, and for your own good you really should, then go no further than Fiona Hunter.

Reviewer: Dan Holland

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