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Arts / Arthur releases collection featuring traditional tunes played on guitar

‘Shetland Guitar’ features 15 sets including a pair of originals

The cover art for Arthur Nicholson's new 'Shetland Guitar' CD.

LOCAL musician Arthur Nicholson has released an album of instrumentals featuring a host of traditional fiddle tunes played on the guitar – just in time for anyone looking for a last-minute stocking-filler.

Shetland Guitar features 15 sets of tunes including music written by Willie Hunter, Debbie Scott, Tom Anderson and Ronnie Cooper.

One of the sets features a pair of original tunes that Arthur penned in tribute to his two children, Eli and Rose. 

He said the idea of playing well-known traditional tunes had been in his mind for a long time before he got round to selecting and recording the tunes earlier this year. 

“Guitar is usually the backing instrument to the fiddle or accordion when it comes to traditional-based Shetland music,” said Arthur.  

“I’ve always enjoyed playing the tunes themselves. Plenty have played them on the guitar in the past, but I don’t think anybody has made a dedicated album.”

Arthur said a number of the tunes featured were “ones I’ve grown up hearing right back to when I first started playing guitar”, with some learnt during his teenage years as a member of New Tradition. 

“I did make a conscious effort to also include tunes by some of the well-known composers.”

Arthur is an instrumental tutor at High Level Music as well as a mainstay of the local live music scene and frontman of covers band favourites First Foot Soldiers.

“It’s just me on guitars,” he said of the album. “It’s a bit strange trying to accompany yourself – hopefully it sounds like two people playing together!”

  • Shetland Guitar by Arthur Nicholson is available on CD for £12.99 from High Level Music in Lerwick. The shop is open today (Christmas Eve) until around 4pm.

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