Uam (From Me)

Julie Fowlis

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Uam (From Me) Review

by Chris Nickson

Julie Fowlis' debut marked her as a major force in Scots music, and Uam, which means "from me," her third outing, simply burnishes and adds to the legend. Whether with a band or simply accompanied by a bodhrán as she is on "Thig am Bàta," her voice is a thing of real beauty. One highlight is "Bothan Airigh am Braigh Raithneach," which she performed on the Transatlantic Sessions, and which gets a royal treatment here, her band fleshed out by Phil Cunningham, Jerry Douglas, and the second voice of the wonderful Eddi Reader, turning the love song into something of real hope and joy. Whether on a slow piece like "A Chatrion' Òg" or a waulking song like "M'Fhearann Saidhbhir," she has a superbly expressive voice that cuts to the heart, not only of the melody, but also to the emotion of a song. She's quite handy on the whistle, too, as she proves on "A Chiad Cheum" and elsewhere. But it's her voice that's her fortune, and it's displayed to glittering effect here. The backing is always sympathetic, framing the song and the singer like jewels. She's cast her net wider than her native Uist, but no matter the origin of the piece (including originals), they're treated with real delicacy. A standout disc.

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