- There is a remarkable diversity to this album, far more than you would expect from a record consisting entirely of instrumental Scottish fiddling. Fiddlers' Bid is made up of nothing more than four fiddles, one guitar, a bass, piano and Scottish harp. Their tunes range in tone from quiet reflection, as on the beautiful title track (named for one of the Shetland Islands), to foot-stomping jollity, as on the riotous "Da Sneck O' Da Smaalie." Steve Yarrington's guitar and Catriona McKay's piano and harp add dimension and scope to the exuberant fiddling, accounting for much of the depth and variety of the sound. Some of the best tracks, like "The Seagull" and "The Isle of Aigas," reduce the fiddling to a background role, focusing on the gentle lilt of the Scottish harp. But despite the diveristy in pace and tone, the album makes for excellent background listening in quiet contexts. Even in the faster tracks, the band holds enough in reserve to retain the aesthetic constistency. It is only in the final hidden track that the band cuts loose entirely with a rollicking rendition of "Da Tief Upon Da Lum" that features half-shouted vocals by the Fiddlers themselves, sounding as if they've spent a bit too much time in the pub. It captures perfectly a key element of the band's charm: an infectious college-band-on-tour enthusiasm that draws their listeners wholeheartedly into the fun. ~ Evan Cater
Dirty Linen (8-9/99, p.59) - "...Fiddler's Bid is an exciting band of Shetland players....The music combines expertly-played traditional reels, jigs and airs, and some striking original tunes....Their youthful energy is combined with more technique and skill than people this young should possess..."