Session A9 - The Magic Roundabout

2024 studio album

The Magic Roundabout - Session A9

the bright young folk review

One of the most renowned bands on the Scottish folk scene is back with a new and uplifting release. With their soaring fiddle lines and the energy of their live performances, Session A9 have gathered a large and international fan base that will not be disappointed with their latest release, The Magic Roundabout.

Right from the first notes of this eight-track studio album, the infectious mood of their live shows becomes palpable. The opener The Duff Set, the final C Set and the Orcadian-Shetland medley Rachel’s Graduation Day / Tenor Reel are just some examples of how the six members of the band can really produce a tight and distinctive sound and, at the same time, interact with spontaneity.

There are, of course, also some breaks from the fast-paced strathspeys and reels. Among them are surely the airy Friday The 13th and a surprising and delicate rendition of Tom Waits The Heart of Saturday Night, one of the only two songs on this album.

The overall result is a release that totally fits in the collective’s discography and follows in the footsteps of their previous work, both for the sound they display and for the mix of sources these tunes come from. A special mention goes to McAlpine’s piano playing. His always impeccable and contrasting accompaniment and his well-calibrated counterpoints are a delightful complement to the band’s trademark interweaving fiddle lines throughout the release.

With its pretty unusual title, its enticing harmonies and its jolly mood, The Magic Roundabout is possibly one of the best albums Session A9 have ever released. Surely the stylish return their fans were waiting for.

Michele Mele

Released on 28 January 2024 on CD and digitally. Arranged and produced by Session A9.

1. John Duff Set
2. Waltzes
3. Rachel’s Graduation Day / Tenor Reel
4. The Heart of Saturday Night
5. The Magic Roundabout
6. Friday The 13th
7. Twilight
8. C Set

Session A9 discography