GR Direct - Sony - Save up to £300 on selected Bravia OLED & LED TVs
Saturday 18 May 2024
 12°C   NE Light Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Reviews / Impeccable afternoon of Americana Sounds

The Fretless featuring Madeleine Roger at the Legion on Saturday afternoon. Photo: Dave Donaldson

NORTH American roots music has long been a mainstay of Shetland Folk Festival and the wider local scene.

Saturday afternoon saw aficionados young and old gather in the Lerwick Legion for an Americana sounds concert dedicated to that most wide-ranging of musical umbrellas.

It featured turns from returning Canadian string quartet The Fretless, local singer-songwriter Freda Leask and her band, and Portland harmony trio The Hackles.

The Fretless – a collection of violins, viola and cellists – had previously thrilled festival-goers in 2018 and were invited back this year with friend and singer Madeleine Roger in tow, reeling off a choice selection of classy instrumentals and throwing in a set-closing old-timey number much to the audience’s glee.

The collaboration is a logical next step in The Fretless’ evolution since teaming up with 10 guest vocalists for 2021’s ‘Open House’. The group’s intricate and tasteful arrangements seamlessly complemented Roger’s melodic style – part folk singer, part indie chanteuse – and considerable song writing chops.

The immensely likeable trio The Hackles. Photo: Dave Donaldson

Freda, meanwhile, was flanked by three of Shetland’s most talented musicians – David Boyter on guitar, Seth Travins on double bass and Tim Matthew on fiddle – to deliver a fluid take on Americana across six finely honed originals, the pick of the bunch being Old Man of Madison.

Closing act The Hackles, following an amusingly protracted edition of the festival’s raffle tradition with multiple young helpers, spoke of “burning the candle at both ends” in attempting to enjoy the festival’s small hours while touring with a six-month-old baby in tow.

The immensely likeable trio’s performance certainly didn’t suffer as they glided through a mixture of great new songs and cuts from recent records including the instantly memorable Peaches and ‘Damn the word’ to round off an impeccable Americana afternoon.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.



Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.