16 tracks: The Corrie Man * Neil Gow’s Wife / The Old Reel * Howard Booster’s Style * Farley Bridge * Keys To The Cellar * Connie’s Birthday * Les Jumeaux * Pier Walk Waltz * Hot Club d’Ecosse * Ouagadougou Boogie * Braigh Lochiall * The Referendum * John Alick Beaton of Teanassie * On the Wings of a Skorrie * Glenfinnan Nights * The Kelburn Brewer.
Greentrax Recordings is again delighted to release another album from the hugely talented fiddler Alasdair Fraser and the wonderful cellist Natalie Haas. Alasdair, a Scot now domiciled in the USA, teamed up with Natalie Haas some years ago to form this highly acclaimed duo. Alasdair (fiddles, baritone fiddle, viola, kalimba) and Natalie (cellos, kalimba) invited eight special guest session musicians to join them on this album: Donald Shaw (accordion), James Macintosh (percussion), Corey DiMario (bass), Dominick Leslie (mandolin), Brittany Haas (fiddle), Hanneke Cassel (piano), Stefan Amidon (percussion), Kai Welch (trumpet) and Oscar Utterström (trombone, bass trombone, euphonium). The tracks are a wonderful mixture of the old and new, including several by Alasdair as you might imagine. One tune titled The Referendum was written by Alasdair for the occasion of Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond’s visit to Alasdair’s fiddle course at Sabhal Mor Ostaig on the Isle of Skye – and to celebrate the upcoming referendum. There are also four tracks listed under the heading Connie’s Suite – a commission from Howie Muir for his wife Connie’s birthday. The Muirs are long-time friends and dance has been an important element in Connie’s life. Each movement of the Suite is inspired by a difference dance form.
“Music can heal, inspire, soothe and provoke. It brings people together in common purpose and can be a force for personal, cultural and political transformation. And of course besides all that, playing music is great fun! As we ‘follow the fiddle’ – the big one and the wee one – on musical adventures around the world, we have the great privilege of sharing our enthusiasm in a variety of settings – in concerts and at music camps and the workshops where a spirit of abundance prevails. In particular we refer to the Valley Of The Moon Scottish Fiddle School and Sierra Fiddle Camp in California, the Skye Fiddle Festival Week in Scotland and Crisol de Cuerda in Spain. These gatherings are non-competitive, non-judgmental, inclusive environments where each person has the opportunity to find his or her own distinctive voice and contribute to the whole. There’s no one person or group with the ‘right’ way to play or the ‘right’ answer - it’s all about musicians of all ages and levels listening to and learning from each other, weaving diverse strands into a rich collective. So here’s to a healthy flourishing of new ideas amongst an open, questioning, listening synergistic group of people that honour the acts of creating and sharing. This album is both a tribute and a thank you to the people we meet along the way. It is a celebration of music and community and possibilities. To the spirit of Abundance!”
(Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas)