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Bellows & Bows, Pavilion, Strathpeffer - 26th Feb 2007
Review by Kenny Mathieson, The Scotsman **** (4 Stars)

ALY Bain and Phil Cunningham hit the road around Scotland with their travelling mini-festival of fiddle and accordion wizardry, courtesy of this Scottish Arts Council's Tune Up project. The pair invited friends from Sweden and Louisiana to join the fun, providing not only a feast of great playing but a contrasting series of indigenous musical idioms.

The Scottish pair set the eclectic tone of the night with a set of jigs, one of Cunningham's poignant slow airs, a couple of Scandinavian hymns and a French Canadian waltz. Swedes Björn Ståbi (fiddle) and Bengan Janson (accordion) are their homeland's equivalent of Aly and Phil, and their set had the characteristic austerity of Swedish music, in contrast with the lively Cajun vocal and instrumental stylings served up by Michael Doucet (fiddle), Marc Savoy (button accordion) and Ann Savoy (guitar).

The concert really came alive after the interval, with all seven musicians on stage and interacting with music from all three cultures. They tackled slow airs, pipe marches, wedding songs, waltzes, polskas, Cajun songs and a very strange Swedish tune from Ståbi and Bain.

The tour finishes in Edinburgh tomorrow.

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