22 tracks: The Duke of Fife’s Welcome to Deeside Set * The Mighty Norman Anderson * J F Dickie’s Delight Set * Hungarian Dance No 5 * Heather and Eilidh Set * The Bloody Fields of Culloden * Ghost Dancers * A Waltz For Alice Set * The Favourite Dram Set * Beeswing Set * Ossian Set * Beinn Dubh Set * Lament of MacCrimmon * Balvenie Set * By The Mountain’s Stream * Drummond Castle Set * Gight Castle * The Black Velvet Band * Fingal’s Cave * The Pass of Ballater Set * The Orange Blossom Special * Luskentyre.
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This compilation has been gleaned mainly from Paul’s solo albums released between 1993 and 2004, and is a selection of Paul’s very own favourites. There is a mixture of classic Scots fiddle repertoire, his own compositions, accompaniment to the fine voice of the late, great Jim Reid and even one track with the Aberdonian rock band Pallas.
Already something of a legend and revered virtuoso in the time honoured tradition of Scottish fiddle music, Paul Anderson began his training while at school on a fiddle found under his grandparents’ spare bed. He can trace his teaching lineage directly to Niel Gow through his tutor Douglas Lawrence, the most acclaimed pupil of Hector MacAndrew. Hector was taught by his grandfather who was taught by the last pupil of Gow.
Paul’s experience includes leadership of the Banchory Strathspey and Reel Society, and playing fiddle with Shetland folk rock band Rock Salt and Nails. His main interest is solo performance and composition of fiddle music in the Scottish traditional music style.
Paul has won most of the fiddle championships in Scotland, his crowning glory being the Glenfiddich Scottish Fiddle Championship at Blair Castle in 1993. A regular on Scottish television and radio, Paul has toured extensively and has recorded seven solo albums. Two specially commissioned portraits of him hang in Aberdeen Art Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh.
In the tradition of many of Scotland’s great fiddlers, Paul is also a composer of some repute, having written around two hundred pieces in the traditional style, one hundred of which are already published in The Cromar Collection. His book The Lochnagar Collection is published in August to coincide with the release of this album.
Though accepted as one of the finest exponents of the classic high-style fiddling of Scotland’s North-East, Paul Anderson and friends here reveal his eclectic taste in performance. Brahms’ evergreen Hungarian Dance No 5 sits near an ephemeral Ghost Dancers by the heavy metal/roots rock of Aberdeen band Pallas. He accompanies two songs by the late Jim Reid, including Galway Bay, and even takes us into Fingal’s Cave with Mendelssohn. But it is the native dance tunes, marches and airs, self-penned and from his traditional repertoire, that best show off his huge tone and technique.
The session musicians who joined Paul on the various albums included George Donald (piano), Margaret Smith (piano), Tony McManus (guitar) and Ali Napier (keyboards).