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Ryan Young - Just a Second

  by Nicky Crewe

published: 19 / 1 / 2024

Ryan Young - Just a Second
Label: Ryan Young
Format: CD


Delayed second album from Scottish traditional musician Ryan Young us a personal triumph as well as a musical joy

Ryan Young is one of the new generation of traditional musicians. He has degrees from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and has received awards and nominations from the folk world, including being twice a finalist for the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year and the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2018. He was nominated for MG ALBA Musician of the year in 2022. He was flying high in terms of his career and recognition when ill health interrupted both his progress and his ability to play. His first album was released in 2017. The wait for this second album has been longer than anyone anticipated, especially Ryan, but it is a huge testimony to his talent and passion for traditional music and his determination to overcome his difficulties. This collection of tunes is a mix of the traditional and the contemporary, played with new twists and interpretations. Ryan Young is accompanied by Craig Irving on guitar. There is a melding of Scottish and Irish fiddle traditions, both of which are equally important and influential for Ryan. The tunes are recorded ‘live’ in the studio which gives the music an energy and immediacy which is as good as attending a concert. There’s an interesting dynamic in the choice of order of the tracks, in that there is a real sense of the musicians warming up and getting into their flow as the tunes follow on from one another. There’s a change of pace from the haunting and melancholy to the upbeat and joyful. This is soul music, with the power to release every kind of emotion and the ability to heal. Produced by four times Grammy winning Jesse Lewis, based in Boston, this is an album that is both a wonderful return and a great introduction to Ryan Young’s talent. Sometimes the story behind the music making is as important as the music itself. Ryan’s left hand was affected by his illness and I can’t imagine a more devastating blow for a fiddle player. There’s a quote in the PR notes. “ ‘Just a Second’ sees Ryan playing every note as if it was his last’. For me there’s no sense of the despair those words conjure up. I’d say Ryan is playing as if every note is his first, with all the emotion, excitement and relief that a return to playing, recording and sharing his music can bring.

Track Listing:-
1 Woo’ed An Married An A’ / Fingal’s Cave
2 Willie Macrae’s Jig / The Monday Morning Reel
3 The Bird’s Nest / ’S Iomadh Rud A’ Chunnaic Mi
4 Ben Lomond / Mrs MacGlashan’s Jig
5 The Fox / Flora MacDonald’s / Little Donald In The Pigpen
6 The Rock And Wee Pickle Tow
7 Nathaniel Gow’s / The Sailor’s Wife
8 Bang Your Frog On The Sofa / Mrs MacGugan’s Rant / Knit The Pocky
9 The Mortgage Burn

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