Arts / ‘Straight-up exciting fiddle and guitar music’ – Couper brothers to release debut album

Ryan (left) and Ross Couper.

BROTHERLY duo Ross and Ryan Couper are set to release their first album together, with the folk record a true family affair.

Sister Mariann joins the pair on a track, while a couple of tunes written by their mum and dad also feature.

The album An Den Dey Made Tae was recorded as live in Mareel and it will be released on 11 December. Pre-orders are available from today (Friday).


Ross Couper is a well-known fiddler and is a member of Peatbog Faeries, while brother Ryan lends guitar skills to local outfit Vair.

The pair grew up playing music together but it was only until the coronavirus pandemic hit that they decided to press ahead with a long-held idea to record an album.

“By capturing the tunes in as live a way as possible, we were able to convey the energy we have when we play together,” Ross said.


“We know each other’s playing inside out so it was really great just to see where this album took us and we’re both really happy with the final result. It’s a simple concept, just straight-up exciting fiddle and guitar music that celebrates our family ties, family history and family values.”

Ryan added: “And Den Dey Made Tae is a fun and high-energy recording that celebrates who we are as players and where we’ve come from.

“Everyone in our family is a musician so it’s been a very special setting to be brought up in and it’s been really lovely to capture this within the album.”


Ross was taught fiddle by mum Margaret Robertson, who was recently awarded an MBE for services to traditional music, while Ryan was the only person to receive lessons from late guitar legend Peerie Willie Johnson.

The album, meanwhile, isn’t the only new music to be reverberating from Shetland’s shores.

Local indie outfit The Stoals have released their new track Something Controversial online.

The peppy track, which was recorded at new Lerwick recording space Poolhouse Studios, nods to the sneer of Arctic Monkeys.

Rock band The Fiction have also unveiled a track called Light It Up.

The quartet, who feature singer-songwriter Keirynn Topp alongside members of acts such as Ten Tonne Dozer and Delorean, released their debut track Boneyard a couple of months ago.