Kathryn Tickell - Borderlands
Kathryn’s second album, 20+ years old.It has (for me, anyway) a freshness that goes with the fact she was that much younger, setting out on her professional career, and not commanding the sophisticated band arrangements and production that she does now (not that I have anything against these).
It’s a selection of tunes played on Northumbrian pipes and fiddle with various backers. There’s the odd one I could live without, but it’s fine in general and Kathryn’s own tune, Brafferton Village, is worth getting the album for on its own. It is played on the pipes with a sensitive piano backing and has here a particular yearning beauty characteristic of what these pipes can express in good hands, but often do not achieve.
Kathryn’s fiddle playing, at least as able as her piping and in general (IMO) more expressive, gets a good airing. I would also mention an atmospheric duet between Kathryn (Northumbrian pipes) and the late Martyn Bennett (I think Scottish smallpipes, but may be wrong), playing the sombre Scottish tune Loch Rannoch.