Review: Rallion: One for Sorrow

Photo: one for sorrow. Having quietly begun to make a name for themselves, "One For Sorrow" sees Scottish folk quartet Rallion follow up their 2006 debut "For No-One and Everyone" in fine musical fettle. This latest release perfectly exhibits the multi-instrumental talents of the band, with Dutch-born singer Marieke McBean proving quite splendid at sounding genuinely local. There is a shade of irony in the opening track ("Nae Luck") being decidedly upbeat, but that fact soon becomes redundant by the time the delightful fiddles on "Askival" flow from your speakers. If you're not sold on that, "Waiting For Dawn", a beautiful composition by fiddle player Fiona Cuthill, will break your indifference.

Further instrumental joy is to be encountered on "Jigs - 3 Different Ones". Don't judge it by its title. Likewise, "Norwegian Tunes" consists of three songs - one Swedish, one a pleasant nod to a Canadian band, and the last, amazingly, is a traditional Norwegian polka. The continental flavour is most welcome and hints positively at the inquisitive nature of the band in their musical outlook.

Marieke's voice paints a torrent of vivid imagery in the head of the listener as she sings the words of Robert Burns on "Lassie Lie Near Me", without as much as a gust of wind for accompaniment. Fine words complemented by a fine voice.

Perhaps fittingly, the album ends on "Wat Zullen We Drinken", which is a renowned Dutch drinking song. Raise your glass and bother to learn an appropriate Dutch drinking toast. On top of the redoubtable individual musical ability to be heard on this release, Rallion appear to have birthed a rare chemistry that would appear to stem from a collective passion for Celtic music. "One For Sorrow" should go some distance to establish Rallion as one of Scotland's leading traditional music acts.

Review by: Peter McGee

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