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Kevin Henderson - Fin Da Laand Ageen (Sungaet Records)
Many fiddle based albums have found their way into the Northern Sky office over the years and I always seem to find it increasingly difficult to write anything about them, either profound, life-changing or even moderately worthwhile. I think this has something to do with my aversion to records that endeavour to feature more fiddles and fiddle players than is actually necessary, which often leads me to believe that a lot of them are merely a bunch of fiddle pals having a bit of fun. The balance of what's good for the musician and what's good for the listener erring on the side of the former. I am however a huge fan of the single fiddle, being raised on a diet of Dave Swarbrick, Jean Luc Ponty and Martin Hayes to name but three. Having led this review into some murky doubt as to my credentials as a Shetland fiddle album reviewer, I have to once again concede that I find the playing extraordinarily good here, with one or two beautiful pieces included, Da Unst Bridal March and Da Brides A Boanie Ting for instance, the latter being a tune I'd previously heard by the aforementioned Mr Swarbrick, which opened his Flittin' LP back in the early 1980s. We are instructed to file this cd under 'Shetland/Traditional/Nordic/Folk/Celtic' on the sleeve, which indicates the varied source of the tunes within. Being a member of Fiddler's Bid, Boys of the Lough, Session A9 and The Nordic fiddlers Bloc, Kevin Henderson is no stranger to the music and therefore brings a wealth of experience to this his debut album. Henderson is joined by Swedish guitar and mandola player Mattias Perez, with his wife Nina Perez duetting on the final piece Minnie O' Sirva's Cradle Song, which bears a resemblance to the tune used for the popular folk song Joe Hill. I reckon you could also file under 'pretty tasty instrumental fiddle music.'