The musicians in Snuffbox met on Glasgow’s vibrant trad music session and have created a style that harnesses the energy of the city with Perthshire’s rich musical tradition. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century the great Perthshire fiddler-composer Niel Gow and his son, Nathaniel favoured the drive and harmony of a fiddle and cello partnership as they played for dances around the country.
In Snuffbox, their fellow Perthshire native, fiddler and BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician 2017 winner Charlie Stewart joins cellist Rufus Huggan and guitarist-singer Luc McNally as the Gows’ natural successors.
Tunes such as the opening Reels and the rugged Limerick show all the character, fluency, depth of expression and sense of melodic adventure that Stewart displayed in his triumphant Young Trad Final performance.
All three musicians’ responsiveness and ability to change roles as a set of tunes progresses, as best exemplified by Lucy’s, keep their arrangements fresh from intro to coda.
It’s this musicianship and flair that have placed these three players among the most in-demand musicians of their generation in Scotland. In addition to Snuffbox, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland student Stewart brings his keening sensitivity and muscular attack to Techno Trad Collective Sketch. Huggan, also a Royal Conservatoire of Scotland student, is equally at home in chamber ensembles and folk sessions, and McNally, who provides the album’s two thoughtful, gently turned vocal tracks, also appears with Sketch and Glasgow quintet Dosca.
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This is the actual release version of the album and has been mastered by Denis Blackham at Skye Mastering on the Isle Of Skye.
Anne Lacey’s (L. Carroll)/Johnny Willmott’s Fiddle (Trad)/The Girls at Martinfield (P. Cunningham)
2. Playing for Free
Playing for Free (R. Huggan/C. Irving/C. Stewart)
Unknown Jig (Trad)/Brian O’Lynn (Trad)
4. Chazza’s Circus
Whistle O’er the Love o’ It (Trad)/Charlie Stewart’s (M. Fielding)
5. Lucy’s 25
Lucy’s Lament (R. Huggan)/Feis Rois 25 (L. MacColl)
6. A Harsh February
A Harsh February (P. Cunningham)
7. Down The River
Down The River
Onions (C. Stewart)/I Ne’er Shall Wean Her (Trad)
9. Yer Maw’s
Yer Maw’s (R. Huggan/C. Stewart)/Dawted Mary (Trad)
10. Sleeping Stars
Recorded at Carrier Waves, Glasgow
Engineered, Produced – Iain Copeland, Skye records.
Mastered by Skye Mastering
© Skye Records 2017