Stewart Hardy and Frank McLaughlin possess a rare musical kinship which, thoughout their 20+ year collaboration, has delighted listeners with their interplay as they explore music rooted in the traditions of Scotland, the Borders and Northumberland while incorporating sensibilities from the worlds of classical, blues, klezmer and jazz.
Stewart and Frank met at a festival of Scottish music in Northern Bavaria. From the start it was clear that they held common musical values and shared many musical influences. Initially contributing to each others projects, the fun they had working together led them to establish a formal collaboration.
Together they compose, produce and perform music of tremendous variety. As a duo they perform traditional and contemporary tunes stripped back to the bare essentials of fiddle and guitar. With their long-term collaboration, they have achieved a deep and instinctive understanding of each others musical interpretations.
The unique and versatile approach Stewart and Frank bring to their music, combined with their ability to draw on a wide variety of styles, produces an uplifting and joyous performance.
REVIEWS "The instrumental pairing of Stewart Hardy and Frank McLaughlin is one of traditional musics great examples of cross-Border co-operation" (Rob Adams, The Herald).
"Hardy is based in the northeast of England, although his fiddle playing on the Earl Grey strathspey here could place him as an Aberdeenshire native, and guitarist and piper McLaughlin lives in Edinburgh. When they get together, however, each belongs wherever the music takes them, be it in The Pilgrim's Way's Spanish dance steps or in the brilliantly mobile Irish set that culminates with Paddy Faheys Reel. Hardy brings a terrific range of colourful expression to his playing, from the gentle, poignant lilt of his slow airs, through the slippery hornpipe bowing that lights up The Locomotive and the swooping, steely poise of his own Thunderfoot, and McLaughlin is both an imaginative accompanist and an assured tunesmith, often transferring his pipers phrasing to the guitar strings" (Rob Adams, The Herald).
"McLaughlin's guitar can chime with a delicacy reminiscent of Tony McManus, or work up powerful drive, while his small pipes sound crisp melodies around which Hardy's fiddle twines" (Jim Gilchrist, The Scotsman).