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String Sisters arrived at The Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh stage tonight as they continue their successful run of shows (having just a few days ago played The Orkney Folk Festival and a show in Inverness) and are obviously on top form.

The band are a bit of a mystery to me to be honest, and the biggest mystery is how, despite the fact that the band was founded 18 years ago in 2000 by Shetland fiddler Catriona Macdonald, I have up until now missed them and this is my first exposure to their music.  Other mysteries include how they are making the difficult look so effortless on stage.

String Sisters, as the promo stuff tells me, blends Nordic and Celtic traditions into an all-encompassing sound, but the sound is far wider in scope than this.  Tonight’s performance drew upon the varied backgrounds of all musicians, and classical music and music with its roots as far back as the medieval period also fused their way into a seamless performance that was a great tribute to the huge skills as musical arrangers that the band have.

This is a truly international band consisting now of fiddlers Annbjørg Lien (Norway), Catriona Macdonald (Shetland), Emma Härdelin (Sweden), Liz Carroll (United States), Liz Knowles (United States), Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh (Ireland) plus Tore Bruvoll (Norway) on guitar, Dave Milligan (Scotland) on piano, Conrad Molleson (Scotland) on bass and James Mackintosh (Scotland) on percussion. This is more than just music though, this is a celebration of what music can do for the inner soul of a person... read the rest of the review here