‘Saltfishforty’ (Douglas Montgomery on fiddle / viola and Brian Cromarty on guitar, mandola and vocals) are a powerful and dynamic duo from Orkney who blend the traditional music of their native islands with contemporary songs – many of which are original band compositions.
Their reputation as a fresh and hugely exciting live act has seen them become well established on the UK festival circuit, while in addition they have also performed in Spain, France (including two trips to perform at the Cannes Film Festival), Ireland, Belgium, Norway, USA and Canada. A tour of Sweden will follow later this year. After a recording break of five years, Saltfishforty are now set to release their third album, ‘Netherbow’, recorded over two weeks at Stormsound Studios in Kirkwall. The title track is a strathspey by Rousay’s Jimmy Craigie. He was the local postie, and many of the great tunes he wrote in the 1950s are being rediscovered today. The Cock o Byam is a song based on a poem found in ‘An Anthology of Orkney Verse’. In it a farmhand is plagued by guilt after killing his pregnant lover. This is the first of four songs on the album, along with The Bride’s Lament, an old traditional song; Yellow and Blue, an original penned by the band and ‘A Ring on Her Hand’ which features new lyrics by Brian Cromarty set to an adaptation of a tune from Orkney’s famed ‘Balfour Collection.’ Svecia is a tune written on a viola comprised of wood from the wreck of the ship of the same name. Elsewhere on the album, on tracks such as ‘The Glassel Set’ and ‘Danielle’s’, the boys are joined by percussionist Erik Laughton, adding a new dimension to an already full sound. The sound is darker and heavier than Saltfish’s earlier albums, yet maintains the energy levels of those recordings.
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