Records - Lauren MacColl (3 stars)

Lauren MacColl

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When Leaves Fall (Make Believe Records)

FOLK

Fiddler Lauren MacColl first came to wider notice when she won the BBC2 Young Folk Award in 2004. She is highly accomplished technically, but also has a genuine feel for the expressive nuances of the music, a quality entirely evident in this strong debut recording. Her emotive rendition of slow airs like the traditional ‘Tha mi tinn leis a’ghaol’ and ‘An T-Iarla Diurach’ or Allan MacDonald’s ‘The Seventh Wave’ belie her youthfulness, while mid-tempo marches and fast reels and jigs are dispatched with equal assurance.

She is arguably still developing the fully individual signature that would make her really stand out in a generation of highly competent young players, but this is a very promising step. Guitarist Barry Reid and pianist James Ross provide sympathetic support, with notable contributions on three tracks from guest Luke Daniels on button accordion.

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