FATEA – Adam Jenkins

The humble fiddle seems to be experiencing a big rise in popularity of late. While it’s never been away, we do appear to be seeing it come to the front of the stage more often. Bryony Griffith is leading the way with her second solo album, following on from the success of 2014’s successful debut, Nightshade. She is one of the few fiddle players whose repertoire draws almost exclusively from traditional English tunes, with a real enthusiasm for dance tunes of her native Yorkshire.

As you would expect, there are a number of tracks that would naturally feature for dance teams, and several of these have been used for Dog Rose Morris and The Newcastle Kingsman Sword Dancers, amongst others. As such, they are a wonderfully joyful listen, and can’t help but put a smile on your face and a tap in your foot. A lot of research has gone into this collection, and we get quite a number of tracks rescued from history with new life breathed into them.

There’s something for everyone here. For enthusiasts of English fiddle tunes, there is much to love in the technical brilliance on display. Griffith gives these tunes an impressive vitality, while still retaining a delicacy in the fingering. For those of us with more of a passing appreciation of traditional fiddle music, what shines through in spades is the sheer joy that runs through the album, which makes this a very fun listen indeed.

Adam Jenkins