I really enjoyed Matheu Watson’s first album and wondered what he’d do to follow it. The answer is: wait three years, travel, play a lot of gigs and come home filled with ideas. He also thanked very kindly the musicians who played on that record and let them go home, too. As those musicians included Martin Simpson and Kris Drever you might suppose that Matheu was not lacking in confidence when it came to returning to the studio.
Quite rightly, too. He plays all manner of guitars, fiddle (and other stringed devices), whistle, flute and organ and every note on Dunrobin Place is his. The record kicks off with the sparkling ‘Ceit And Eilidh’s’, a deceptively simple pair of tunes with all the energy of a highland waterfall. The sets mix Matheu’s own compositions with traditional pieces and those borrowed from other writers.
At the centre of the album is an achingly beautiful air, ‘The Annie Jane’, a tune full of hints of older times and older music that you can almost recognise but not quite. Then the pace picks up again before Matheu returns home and that’s what the album is all about – the joy of travelling and the even greater joy of coming home, expressed in the exuberance of the final track, ‘Dunrobin Place’. This is an excellent album and one that I’ve much enjoyed.