After the rapturous response received by their first album, 2018’s Road to the North, Assynt, the trio made up of piper and whistle player Dave Shedden, guitarist Innes White and fiddler Graham MacKenzie, release their second studio album Where From Here, recorded under the guidance of Scott Wood.
As always, these young and talented multi-award winning musicians, already recipients of the MG Alba Traditional Music Award in 2018, manage to blend traditional tunes and self-penned compositions inspired by the Highlands of Scotland into captivating medleys. The lively opening track Assynt House is a perfect example of their tight interplay, with fiddle and pipes put centre stage and a rhythmically intense guitar substrate to accompany them.
This second release provides a more varied insight into Shedden’s warm sounding, precise and fluid whistle playing, particularly on the evocative St Andrew’s Drive, the brisk New Normal and the stunning Nigheann Donn. The album ends with the expressive title track and the foot-tapping Alive in Astley, both centred on the juxtaposed dialogue between pipes and fiddle.
Assynt have, once again, demonstrated great mastery of both traditional and contemporary material and crafted some new tunes that might soon become new favourites for folk music players. They are the proof that the British folk scene is still blossoming and able to evolve in the right direction without compromising its deep roots.Michele Mele
Released on CD and digitally by Garthland Records on 24 February 2023. Recorded by Scott Wood at Oak Ridge Studios.
1. Assynt House
2. Gordon Stuart’s
3. St. Andrew’s Drive
4. Nighean Donn
5. The Source
6. The New Normal
9. Where From Here
10. Alive in Astley