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Bruce MacGregor “101 Reasons to do nothing” - SKYECD17

Prepare yourself for an emotional rollercoaster, from the almost mournful airs to the joy of the reels.  Bruce has composed 11 of the tunes on this recording, but hasn’t lost any of the traditional “oldie” feel.  Being a jigs and reels lover myself I found this CD a bit sedate at first - definitely a grower, but excellent nevertheless.  I’m sure it will hit the spot for most – I’m sure my old pa Wattie will love it!  It’s note perfect and solid, he is a truly magnificent player, the strathspeys are wonderful, quite a rarity; anyone who plays fiddle will know how difficult and downright frustrating they are to play!  (I believe his tutor, the late Donald Riddell, was a stickler for perfection and forced a young Bruce to go over and over the bowing technique for hours on end!)

His style reminds me a touch of the beautiful “borders adopted” Shetlander, Catriona MacDonald, its little wonder the play so well together in Blazin Fiddles.

This is the first solo recording for Inverness’s Macgregor, who as the founder member of Blazin’ Fiddles and member of the excellent Gaelic group Cliar. He is accompanied by some of Scotland’s best: Phil Cunningham, Jonnie Hardie of Old Blind Dogs and fellow Cliar member, Ingrid Henderson, to name a few.

Would I but it?  Well, not on the strength of one listen, but I played it a few times and have definitely come to love it.  This is Scottish traditional fiddling at it’s very, very best.

Kirsty Robson

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This album was reviewed in Issue 45 of The Living Tradition magazine.