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**** The Scotsman

SHIFT & CHANGE: Scots singer and educator Christine Kydd was inducted last year into the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame. This, her first “solo” album in years, demonstrates why.

Sparely accompanied by a dependable crew including fiddler Gillian Frame, guitarist Innes Watson, Fraser Speirs on harmonica and producer Angus Lyon on keyboards and accordion, she mixes traditional and contemporary, opening with Michael Marra’s Just Another RollingStone, harmonica providing a reedily mellow accompaniment; there’s an American folk feel to her own Comin On Strong and she brings warmth to Braes o Balquhidder.

The power of her singing really emerges in the unaccompanied Rue and the Thyme, her stately and measured delivery faintly echoing traveller singer Lucy Stewart, from whom it was collected, while, also unaccompanied, Jim Reid’s setting of the Violet Jacob poem Halloween unspools in a suspended cameo of heartbreak.

16 Feb 2019, Jim Gilchrist