Tracks : 14
The Fire are a trio of musicians from the USA. They may be currently based in Santa Cruz but this album sparkles with pure Scottish Highland spirit from the opening bars of The Prodigal Son to the closing set of 6/8 Pipe Marches. David Brewer’s pipes and whistles are always spot on and the guitar and bouzouki backing of Adam Hendey, along with the Bodhran, is subtle and never overdone. Rebecca Lomnicky’s fiddle playing is superb throughout and is particularly exquisite on the tracks Mr McLaines and Miss Graham.
The opening two tracks, The Prodigal Son and Captain Carswell, canter along setting the scene for the rest of the album. The aforementioned Mr McLaines comes next with its sumptuous fiddle playing and beauty leading into the pipe and fiddle led The Meadow Court Lasses.
Dark Lowers the Night is a strikingly beautiful track that pulls you into a world of misty glens and towering mountains with the whistle counter melody proving highly effective. When the pipes, fiddle and whistle come together towards the end of the track it is a moment of Celtic magic.
Goodbye Eugene takes a different tack with the guitar taking the main melody line before the whistle and fiddle join in and finishing with the full range of instruments in glorious combination. The next track is Miss Graham’s with its stunningly beautiful fiddle playing. It is another gem amongst many on this album. The whistle takes the lead on the jaunty The Golden Anniversary which bounces along with ebullience then the tempo changes to something more gritty before finishing with flourish of foot-tapping brilliance. The Lanai Jigs are expertly performed while The Old Man is a track which shows a remarkable depth of emotion and showcases once again the immense talent of Rebecca on the fiddle.
The Session Set and Chasing Down the Sun continue on the theme of expertly played and beautifully arranged sets. The penultimate track, The Laird of Foveran, is probably my favourite track from the album. It showcases every part of the band and is a joy to listen to. The album closes with a fine set of 6/8 Marches which rounds things off perfectly.
The Fire have produced a fine album that deserves to take its place at the top end of any Celtic music chart. Radiance is an album
of brilliantly played, highly enjoyable Scottish traditional music at its finest and I heartily recommend it.