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Hamnataing

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Album Review

There is a remarkable diversity to this album, far more than you would expect from a record consisting entirely of instrumental Scottish fiddling. Fiddlers' Bid is made up of nothing more than four fiddles, one guitar, a bass, piano and Scottish harp. Their tunes range in tone from quiet reflection, as on the beautiful title track (named for one of the Shetland Islands), to foot-stomping jollity, as on the riotous "Da Sneck O' Da Smaalie." Steve Yarrington's guitar and Catriona McKay's piano and harp add dimension and scope to the exuberant fiddling, accounting for much of the depth and variety of the sound. Some of the best tracks, like "The Seagull" and "The Isle of Aigas," reduce the fiddling to a background role, focusing on the gentle lilt of the Scottish harp. But despite the diveristy in pace and tone, the album makes for excellent background listening in quiet contexts. Even in the faster tracks, the band holds enough in reserve to retain the aesthetic constistency. It is only in the final hidden track that the band cuts loose entirely with a rollicking rendition of "Da Tief Upon Da Lum" that features half-shouted vocals by the Fiddlers themselves, sounding as if they've spent a bit too much time in the pub. It captures perfectly a key element of the band's charm: an infectious college-band-on-tour enthusiasm that draws their listeners wholeheartedly into the fun.

Biography

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Fiddlers' Bid are known for their dynamic, driving approach to Scottish fiddling. The band is based in Shetland, the northernmost point in Scotland. The foundation of the band are the four young fiddlers, Maurice Henderson, Andrew Gifford, Kevin Henderson, and Christopher Stout. They are supplemented by Steve Yarrington on guitar, Dave Coles on bass, and Catriona McKay on piano and Scottish harp. It is the additional instruments that define the band's sound, lending distinctive power and versatility...
Full bio
Hamnataing, Fiddler's Bid
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