9 tracks: The Devil's Advocate * Bamboo Dancer * Auld Swaara * Phil's Tune * The Airth Rant * Fisherman's Prayer * The Sheriff * Nanny and Andrew * Dynrost.
Chris Stout is a member of top Shetland band Fiddlers' Bid - he is also a member of The Finlay MacDonald Band he works as a duo with harpist Catriona MacKay (also of Fiddlers' Bid). Following on from Chris's widely praised first album First O' The Darkenin', Devil's Advocate marks a major leap forward in the career of this remarkable musician and composer. Acclaimed on their live debut for taking traditional music into exciting new territories, the quintet has developed into an international class outfit, demonstrating the discipline of a classical ensemble and a jazz group's sense of adventure, while celebrating all the spirit and flair of traditional music. Devil's Advocate intentionally reflects - and provides a natural link between - Chris's love of both traditional and contemporary music. The joyously skirling opening track and the closing, deeply emotive Dynrost are rearranged movements from Chris's successful commission for the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra performed at Celtic Connections 2007. In between, the music covers an amazing dynamic range from atmospheric solo fiddle airs and intricate, quicksilver ensemble passages to the kind of rollicking Shetland-Scandinavian hoolie that Chris's fans from Fiddlers' Bid know so well. It's all played with passion, precision and huge musicality by Chris (fiddle, viola), Fraser Fifield (saxophone), Catriona McKay (piano and harp), Neil Harland (double bass) and Malcolm Stitt (guitar). Chris' first solo album First O' The Darkenin' was nominated for both the BBC Folk Awards and The Scots Trad Awards of 2004. 'There are some who can play like nobody's business and set the heather on fire in the process, and there are those who are possessed to the extent that they achieve standards that are out there beyond the reach of almost anyone else. Stout sets a new benchmark.' (Maverick Magazine)