Live in Shetland Album Reviews

Thank you to the Scotsman for this 5 star review

*****

With three solo albums under her own name to her credit, plus her work with Blazin’ Fiddles and RANT Shetland fiddler Jenna Reid here passes admirable panache the litmus test of a recorded live performance, on home ground accompanied successfully by three long term associates, sister Bethany and Harris Playfair on pianos and guitarist Kevin Mackenzie.  Recorded in Lerwick’s Mareel centre, it opens with the gentle air, Tom Anderson’s Auld Berrie and goes out at exhilarating high speed with Scott Skinner’s The Hurricane.  In between she lingers lovingly over Willie Hunter’s classic, Leaving Lerwick Harbour and the slow strathspey The Dean Brig o Edinburgh with sensitivity and affection.  Shifting up tempo The Whisky Jigs and characterful Shetland tunes like Da Flugga (both with Bethany accompanying) or the Laxo Burn set over Mackenzie’s snappy guitar are given forceful delivery, that is never at the expense of nuance, while Playfair’s piano rolls exuberantly along with tunes like the hornpipe Princess Beatrice or in that closing storm.

Jim Gilchrist.

 

Thank you to fROOTS for this review:

This is the fourth solo album from the young- but-already-famous virtuoso Shetland fiddler. Recorded live on 28th June 2014 at an inti- mate home concert in Shetland’s new venue, Mareel, Jenna performs traditional tunes from Scotland and Shetland, tunes composed by the great fiddlers (J Scott Skinner etc) and tunes composed recently by herself and her sister Bethany. This live concert is in three parts. In each part, Jenna duets with one of her long-standing accompanists: her sister Bethany (piano), Kevin Mackenzie (guitar) and Harris Playfair (piano). The delicate, mini- mal accompaniment highlights Jenna’s talent to its very best advantage: gorgeous, richly- textured fiddle-playing. On the beautiful slow airs Pentland Hills and Avalanche, Jenna’s fiddle is liquid mahogany.
Paul Matheson

 

Thank you the Sunday Herald for this review:

Fiddler Jenna Reid plays a home fixture at Shetland’s recently opened showcase venue, Mareel, on this, her fourth solo album. As a working musician, Reid’s superb musicality and absolute command of melody have been heard in groups including Blazin’ Fiddles and Deaf Shepherd, and she’s also one quarter of the marvellous chamber fiddle group Rant. It’s in duos that she arguably shows her strongest suit, though, and these 18 tracks feature her in three examples: with sister Bethany on piano, Kevin Mackenzie on guitar and Harris Playfair on piano. All are long-standing musical partnerships and each’s mutual understanding shines through, with sisterly empathy and a soulful sense of place evident on The Pentland Hills, and Mackenzie drawing out Reid’s richest tones and measured expression on Hector The Hero. Good though these are, however, there’s even more spirit, fun, feeling and daring on the Playfair tracks; and on the heart-in-mouth finale, The Hurricane, if they weren’t so good together, they might have to pull an emergency stop.

Rob Adams

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