LOUISE BICHAN – The Lost Summer (Adhyâropa Records AR00058)

The Lost SummerOrkney born, now resident in the USA, Louise Bichan releases her second album, The Lost Summer, some eight years after her debut. Louise is a fiddle player and is supported here by producer and string player Ethan Setiawan, guitarist Conor Hearn and Brendan Hearn on cello as well as a number of guests dropping by here and there. Looking at the cast list I was expecting something overwhelming by that is not the case. Certainly, the album can rock a bit but for the most part it is quite restrained.

Most of the material is Louise Bichan originals with one or two traditional tunes and a couple of borrows, mostly from her friends. The opening track is the upbeat ‘Auch’ comprising ‘The Auch Jig’ by Siobhan Anderson, ‘Skipping Over The Bogs’ by John McSherry and the traditional Orcadian tune, ‘The Holm Band Tune’. Next is the title track, written in 2020 and we all know what that means. It seems that Louise may have been in the wrong place with the wrong people. This track rocks a bit but politely and features a whistle solo by Ali Levack.

‘Adam And Eric’s’ is an old wedding tune that Louise says began as a fast reel and morphed into a strathspey. Next are two traditional tunes, ‘Deltingside’ and ‘Squirrel Hunters’ which feature Brad Kolodner’s claw hammer banjo and Simon Chrisman’s hammered dulcimer – another set that rocks politely. I guess that ‘Tune For Claire’ and ‘The Little Cowpig’ were both compositions in search of a title while Louise thinks that ‘Rhena’s 80th’ may be the first tune she ever wrote and named it for her great aunt.

‘Pinnacle’ is another conglomeration of three tunes: ‘Pinnacle Ridge’ by Roger Peppé, ‘Musical Chisholm Household’ by Jerry Holland and the traditional ‘Little Donald In The Pigpen’, a set which features some very tasty fiddling. ‘Arnie’s’ consists of two tunes: Jennifer Wrigley’s ‘The Watch Stone’ and ‘Arnie’s 80th’ (there is a pattern here) written by Louise and her cousin, Alice Tait, who joins on fiddle. Finally, there is ‘Coldstream’, written for various members of Louise’s family.

The Lost Summer is a delightful album, exciting when it needs to be without being overpowering and packed with fine playing from the entire cast.

Dai Jeffries

Artist’s website: www.louisebichan.co.uk

‘The Lost Summer’ – official video:

We all give our spare time to run folking.com. Our aim has always been to keep folking a free service for our visitors, artists, PR agencies and tour promoters. If you wish help out and donate something (running costs currently funded by Paul Miles), please click the PayPal link below to send us a small one off payment or a monthly contribution.