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Rowan Piggott - Mountscribe
Rowan Piggott is the son of Charlie Piggott of De Dannan fame, so expectations run high. He has already written tune books of Irish Ceili and Swedish fiddle tunes, taught music and composed articles for TLT among other things. His debut solo album features 14 tune sets and songs. Mountscribe is the name of the small tract of land where he grew up on the Galway/Clare border in the west of Ireland, but he is currently based in Midhurst in West Sussex - another sea-coast area. While his music is Irish in influence and some form, other influences come from England and Europe. This is confirmed in the supporting cast: Rowan worked with Rosie Hodgson of CrossHarbour on her solo album, Rise Aurora, and works with other artists such as Georgia Lewis, both of whom contribute here - Rosie adding vocals to Queen And Country and clog dancing to Fahey’s / No Matter The Wreckage, one of the few instrumental sets on board. While Rowan is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist on fiddle, bouzouki and double bass, the biggest surprise exists in his vocal prowess. Possessing a lyrical tenor voice rooted in the English and Irish idioms, his singing dominates the album but proves a pleasant unexpected revelation. Swedish fiddle styles accompany The Cuckoo, while a penchant for mixing songs and tunes permeates A Maid Went To Comber aka Next Market Day, slipping into Till Viola. Charlie Piggott himself adds accordion drones to The Wounded Huzzar and leads the way in a delightful father/son duet on the closing Beauties Of Autumn emerging from Emigrant Visa.

What is clearly evident from Mountscribe is that Rowan Piggott is very much his own man – his style is rounded and mature and already sufficiently accomplished to confirm a talent aware of his lineage but striving to establish his own identity, which he does convincingly here.

John O’Regan

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