There was an almost full house at the Garrison on Thursday night for Faroese country star Hallur Joensen invited here by the Shetland Country Music Club.
The singer who famously had the choice to go to Nashville or Burra for the Thomas Fraser Festival back in 2007 and chose Burra, was ably backed by the Brian Nicholson Band in fine fettle. This is his fourth visit to the islands.
“It’s good when they call you back” he said.
It was a heartfelt performance from a country music artist who has played with likes of Kris Kristofferson and the Bellamy Brothers and has an international following and is particularly good at his interpretations of Merle Haggard songs.
Having been in Shetland since Monday he and his right hand man guitarist Beddi (or is it Beni?) Hansen had time to musically gel with Brian and the band.
Highlights were a version of Blue Eyes Cryin in the Rain, sung half in Faroese and half in English, and the exceptional fiddling of Maggie Adamson especially on Orange Blossom Special and a touching rendition of Tennesee Waltz.
The songs mostly come with an element of tragedy and went down well with the Garrison audience. Jackie Robertson the pedal steel guitar player lightened up proceedings with a few choice jokes. This helped counteract the mood of songs like Kris Kristofferson’s It’s Over But Nobody Wins and the Gram Parson’s classic Empty Bottle, Broken Heart and You Still on my Mind.
The evening was a treat for Shetland country music fans.
You can catch Hallur and Brian and his band at Brae tonight and at the British Legion on Saturday.
A full report will appear in next week’s Shetland Times.