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John New of EFN

reviews Scatter Pipes by Vicki Swan & Jonny Dyer

By the end of the first bar of the first tune, Donald MacLeod's Reel, my feet were tapping. Track one is the only completely traditional set of this dynamic duo's (who are now formally 'an item') second album. They have put together a great compilation of sets of mainly their own music. Track two, tune one, The Willows, is becoming a standard around sessions these days and aptly named after a pub in their village.

Those familiar with Vicki & Jonny know that they play to the highest standard. Vicki's speciality being the Scottish Smallpipes and flute, Jonny's are guitar and accordion. They are both excellent vocalists too and the first chance to hear their close harmonies is on the Hare's Lament. The fourth and longest set is probably the best which includes the title track, Scatter Pipes, inspired by scat jazz. Vicki herself plays the tune that inspired her to take up the smallpipes, Hector the Hero, and there are more self penned tunes wrapped around traditional songs and music. Track nine is a tribute to Vicki's father, Pipe Major Roddy Swan and includes The Bulgarian Bandit, with and eastern Eurpoean feel that Jonny says will completely throw any bohdran player. The final set is their version of Wraggle Taggle Gypsies & Dark Eyed Gypsy that they call Seven Little Gypsies, great vocals.

The fact that this CD has spent so long in my car lays testament to it being one of the better albums I get for review.