Stout & McKay
Stout and McKay
“McKay and Stout do for fiddle and harp what Hayes and Cahill have done for fiddle and guitar: stripping bare old tunes and not so much composing new ones as conjuring them from a divine concoction of tradition and bold imagination. “– The Irish Times
“A hotbed of musical creativity… hugely engaging performance.”– The Scotsman
A more connected world is all well and good, but sometimes a degree of isolation can play a beneficial role in the life of local accents and music. The Shetlands are a case in point, with their strong historical ties to Norway and a rich tradition of fiddle music that bridges the Celtic and Viking spheres of influence.
It’s a tradition brilliantly harnessed by fiddler Chris Stout and harper Catriona McKay, whose atmospheric duo playing has evolved out of a decade long partnership in the much admired Shetland group Fiddler’s Bid. White Nights, the second of what should be many recordings together, bristles with the special energy of two contrasting musical personalities, with Stout'’s uninhibited fiddle style tempered by the graceful precision of McKay'’s clarsach, or traditional Scottish harp.
Their easy compatibility is allied to a shared appetite for open horizons, where Scottish, Scandinavian and Irish tunes are opened up to a raft of creative possibilities with improvisations that evoke tango and Balkan music. On a clear day the view from the Shetlands is considerable.