“Scott’s 2012 album “Evening’s Fa” is one of the most played in our household this year (most especially in our car, and most especially an irresistibly brisk wee number called “A Dyker’s Compliments”!). This is heartfelt, understated, unpretentious singing. Worn and weathered tweed. Beautiful and honest. And on the aforementioned album uncluttered arrangements to match too. I’ve found a clutch of Scott’s own songs deeply moving, especially “I Thought I Had No Voice”. For decades, Scott has been a really well known face on the Scottish folk scene, especially as a member of The Sangsters, and in recent years as a much loved and inspirational workshop leader (he’s up for Tutor of the Year this year also). Wee nod to my fella Mattie who did a great job producing Scott’s album and to fellow Pathheider Jenny Gardner who pulled the musical threads together in such bonnie fashion.”
“The CD is wonderful. Congratulations. I can’t pretend to understand all the words but that doesn’t matter, your voice is like my favourite malt whisky – it rolls over and around me with seductive and silky tastes and tones. I love it. I love all the songs. I love the arrangements. It is folk music at its best. It knocks the over-arranged and instrumented CDs into….I don’t know where! It is filled with love and that’s more than enough. Give me a voice (especially your voice), good stories and simple, effective and tasteful accompaniments – that is all that is needed to make a beautiful performance and recording, as this undoubtedly is.”
“If you expect an album full of auto-tuned technical trickery then you’ll be disappointed. What you get is a genuine heartfelt performance on every song; original, wistful and tasteful renditions from that big, old voice which has done so much for the Scottish tradition. Great songs. Great album. Scott doesn’t just sing, he resonates. A voice in a million.”
“There is a grainy conviction and warmth in Scott Murray’s first solo album, his rough hewn vocals enjoying fine support from Sangsters, with whom he has sung for twenty years, and fine accompaniments from instrumentalists including fiddlers Amy Geddes and Jenny Gardner and accordionist Martin Green. Nicely produced by Mattie Foulds, this is a spin-off from a Scots Music Group Inspire project and the songs, mainly Murray’s own, exude an autumnal feel in more than the rustic bronzes of the sleeve. In Gathersnaw Hill, for instance, he intones wistfully over a delicate drift of fiddle, accordion and background vocals; similarly in the tuneful I Thought I Had No Voice, he is nicely borne along by voices and strings. He demonstrates an eloquent way with Scots place names in Clarabad Mill and the resonant unaccompanied Kings and Pipers, the jaunty Dyker’s Compliments is a salty litany of East Neuk abuse, while We’ll Follow the Music spins itself into a lovely waltz.”
“This is a beautifully-produced thoughtful album by one of the best-loved guys on the Scots Folk Scene. There’s a naturalness about it and a welcome simplicity of arrangement which gives it a special quality. Here is a real person singing about real life, looking over the shoulder to days past, and calmly contemplating the future. A wonderful antidote to soft-focus, photoshopped Celticism.”
“Scott’s name is likely to be familiar to Scottish music enthusiasts from his 20-year-plus membership of the group Sangsters (whose two albums for Greentrax are doubtless prized possessions), but Scott’s perhaps less likely to be recognised as a singer-songwriter in his own right. Until now, that is – although it’s hard to believe that Evenin’s Fa’ is Scott’s debut solo album. And judging from the back-story, even its gestation is a tad obscure.
We learn initially that the album grew out of a Creative-Scotland-funded Scots Music Group Inspire project, where the tutors worked with four groups of homeless and vulnerable people in Edinburgh, culminating in a concert in June 2011; and yet, only two songs from the project actually appear on the album – the touching, uplifting I Thought I Had No Voice and the gorgeous waltzer We’ll Follow The Music (which uses Jenny Gardner’s celebrated tune The Gift).
The remainder of the disc’s selections were included in response to the exhortations of musician Amy Geddes (at whose house the tutors rehearsed for that final concert) to make an album of his own songs. This means that they’re songs in whose composition Scott had some degree of sole involvement, whether as wordsmith or tunesmith or (in six cases) both. And, notwithstanding the uniformly high quality of the writing, they benefit immeasurably from the brilliant arranging skills of fiddle player Jenny Gardner, with whom Scott had worked on the Inspire project, cradled in minimal yet gloriously rich settings courtesy of a number of fine fiddlers (principally Jenny and Amy), with Martin Green (accordion), Sarah McFadyen (banjo), Jim Malcolm (moothie) and the vocal support of fellow-Sangsters Anne Murray, Fiona Forbes and John Blackwood on just a handful of tracks.
But oh what a marvellous instrument is Scott’s voice – a superbly resonant deep smoky croak that once heard is impossible to mistake. Standout tracks for me are the opener Cartwheel (which sets a happy memory to a lovely Irish air), the chillingly bleak evocation of February, the snappy, cheery A Dyker’s Compliments (done quite differently to the version on the Sangsters’ Sharp And Sweet album) and the beautiful evocation of A Small Place In Assynt with its litany of mountain names and features of the area’s natural landscape. But at least four other tracks (Maggie’s Song, Gathersnaw Hill, Clarabad Mill and the acappella Kings And Pipers) deserve almost equally honourable mention, while Anne Murray tellingly assumes the vocal role on Mary’s Song, Scott’s entirely apposite setting of a Marion Angus poem. In short, this is a true gem of an album, impeccably presented, recorded and packaged.”
“Lately I’ve been enjoying the new album by Scott Murray, “Evenin’s Fa”. Makes me think of home, of stories in my own life, and occasionally of my dear departed faither. The honesty of it, the sense of place, really hits home to me as folk who know me might expect. Great design and the stories in the sleeve notes, the general thoughtfulness – yet unfussy nature – of it all. Great job.”
“It’s the best music ever”