The Welsh Folk Magazine
First Things First
Lorimer LRCDOI (44m)
THE SURGE of wonderfully creative tradition-inspired musicians from Scotland continues apace with this absolutely stunning debut album from harpist Ailie Robertson. Her credentials are already impeccable and impressive, with numerous awards to her name.
She plays music from the Scottish and Irish tradition, as well as her own compositions. While the harp is always centre stage, very significant contributions are made by percussionist Paul Jennings, Duncan Lyall on bass, guitarist Ewan Robertson and pianist James Ross.
Ailie pushes the boundaries of harp technique in exciting but always intensely musical ways.
Donald, Willie and his Dog just swings along with lots of interesting effects, as do the Angus Jigs. Joyous, lively and forthright tracks, such as jazz-tinged The Exploding Bow, are balanced by a couple of slow airs for solo harp, where the beauty, the poise, the pauses and the lyricism took my breath away.
With First Things First, Robertson earns herself a place among the cream of Scottish musicians.