Snuffbox – ‘Playing For Free’ Album of The Week – 8 April 2017
The musicians in Snuffbox met on Glasgow’s vibrant trad music sessions and have created a style that harnesses the energy of the city with Perthshire’s rich musical tradition. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century the great Perthshire, fiddler,composer Niel Gow and his son, Nathaniel favoured the drive and harmony of a fiddle and cello partnership as they played for dances around the country. In Snuffbox, their fellow Perthshire native, fiddler and BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician 2017 winner Charlie Stewart joins cellist Rufus Huggan and guitarist-singer Luc McNally. Tunes such as the opening Reels and the rugged Limerick show all the character, fluency, depth of expression and sense of melodic adventure that Stewart displayed in his triumphant Young Trad Final performance.
In addition to Snuffbox, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland student Charlie Stewart brings his keening sensitivity and muscular attack to Techno Trad Collective Sketch. Rufus Huggan, also a Royal Conservatoire of Scotland student, is equally at home in chamber ensembles and folk sessions, and Luc McNally, who provides the album’s two thoughtful, gently turned vocal tracks, also appears with Sketch and Glasgow quintet Dosca.
- Reels – Anne Lacey’s (L. Carroll) Johnny Willmott’s Fiddle (Trad) The Girls at Martinfield (P. Cunningham) This track was put together in an attempt to make ‘just a normal set of reels’.
- Playing For Free – Playing for Free (R. Huggan/C. Irving/C. Stewart) Originally put together by Charlie, Rufus and the guitarist Craig Irving; this tune is named for something we have all had to do from time to time, as part of our pursuit of a career in music.
- Limerick – Unknown Jig (Trad)/Brian O’Lynn (Trad) These are two tunes that Charlie learned from listening to the amazing Caoimhín
Ó Raghallaigh at the North Atlantic Fiddle convention in Derry.
- Chazza’s Circus / Whistle O’er the Love o’ It (Trad) Charlie Stewart’s (M. Fielding) The second tune in this set was written by Charlie’s teacher, Marie Fielding, just before his lesson. Named after him as he was the first person to hear it!
- Lucy’s 25/ Lucy’s Lament (R. Huggan) /Feis Rois 25 (L. MacColl) This set is comprised of two modern tunes: Lucy’s Lament which was written by Rufus for Lucy Doogan and Feis Rois 25 which was written by another of Charlie’s teachers, Lauren MacColl.
- A Harsh February – A Harsh February (P. Cunningham) Despite being known to us as ‘Irish B minor reel’ until very recently, it transpires that this is yet another excellent tune written by Scotland’s own Phil Cunningham.
- Down The River – Down The River (R. Huggan) A dark song written on a morbidly hot day in New York; it pays homage to a bygone age where children in stories and song were met with tragic ends.
- Onions – Onions (C. Stewart)/I Ne’er Shall Wean Her (Trad) Charlie’s eponymous slow air was named as such for want of a more appropriate title which, unfortunately, has not materialised.
- Yer Maw’s – Yer Maw’s (R. Huggan C. Stewart)/Dawted Mary (Trad) Dedicated to all the mothers out there.
- Sleeping Stars – Sleeping Stars (R. Huggan) Written in anticipation of visiting the Celtic Colours festival in Canada, this song is about sleeping as long and often as possible to shorten the days leading up to the trip
Recorded at Carrier Waves, Glasgow /Engineered, Produced – Iain Copeland, Skye Records. Mastered by Denis Blackham, Skye Mastering
© Skye Records 2017
11th May 2017 – Hootenannys, Inverness @ 9:00 pm – 12:00 am
12th May 2017 – Seaboard Centre, Balintore Seaboard Centre, Balintore, IV20 1UA
13th May 2017 – Glenfarg @ 8:30 pm – 11:00 pm Glenfarg, Perth PH2, UK
18th May 2017 – Old Hairdressers , @ 8:00 pm – 11:30 pm The old Hairdressers, 27 Renfield Ln, Glasgow G2, UK
9th June 2017 – Eden Festival ,@ 14:30 pm Eden Festival, Moffat, UK
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