The Scotsman ★★★★
This impressive debut album comes from Boston-born fiddle player Elizabeth Davidson-Blythe and Manx multi-instrumentalist Daniel Quayle, featuring numerous compositions by Davidson-Blythe, influenced by Manx, Scottish and particularly Irish music. The dramatic opener sets the tone, a forceful set of reels bowed over driving guitar and augmented by Manx fiddler Tomás Callister. The Irish accent is cranked up a level as they are joined by banjoist Ciarán Ryan, who adds percussive edge to The Train. There is sprightly jig playing in the Daybreak set, again with nicely syncopated guitar, while a respite from high energy comes with the song-like stroll of 128 South and in Davidson-Blythe’s lovely air, For Ewen, warmly cusped in a string arrangement by David Kilgallon. The closing title track includes two Irish classics, Wynne’s No. 2 and The Contradiction, with Ryan’s banjo rejoining them for an exhilarating final fling.