Shetland Mandolin Band’s first venture into the recording studio has resulted in a lightsome album of instrumental music from around the world, played by 28 mandolinists and accompanied by double bass, piano and guitar. The 12 tracks on Always on a Monday include 18 tunes from 11 countries – the earliest tune composed in 1725 and the newest in 2016. Some are well-known as mandolin tunes, others are from the traditional and country music worlds; some have a classical base and there are original ‘Shetland’ tunes from Jenny Henry and Nigel Hallett too.
The ‘community’ band first got together in 2015 with the aim of providing a setting for Shetland’s mandolin players, no matter their age or ability, to meet and play tunes, as well as to encourage mandolin playing in the islands. Such has been the success of the venture that the band meets fortnightly, always on a Monday, and continues to enjoy the support and encouragement of mandolin players and the good people of Shetland. Band members are aged from 11 to 75 and include well-known, experienced players such as Gary Peterson (Hom Bru) and Trevor Jamieson (North Ness Boys) as well as players who have just set out on their musical journey and learn the instrument from tutor Jenny Henry.