In some respects, the debut disc from BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of 2014 is exactly right, a beautifully produced 12-song calling card that gathers the songs that have formed the youthful repertoire of a singer partly formed by studies across the Irish Sea from her Stranraer home. The picture of her ringlets from behind on the back of the disc is a nice touch. The repertoire is pretty strictly trad, with, of course, her title-winning Jock Hawks’s Adventures in Glasgow and a cappella versions of MacCrimmon’s Lament and Skippin’ Barfit Through the Heather, the latter learned from the recording of the 1951 People’s Festival Ceilidh.
But the gloss she adds in the booklet notes, like that one, suggest a lack of rigour in her approach to the songs. Lanarkshire lament for the fallen, Bonnie Woodhall, demands a little more explanation than she finds room for, and the achingly beautiful Noran Water, Jim Reid’s setting of Angus poet Helen Cruikshank’s Shy Geordie, singularly fails to credit the Dundonian musician, who died just over five years ago. The accompaniment for that, chiefly accordian and fiddle, is a highlight, but elsewhere the band is a little four-square. Stapleton has a fine voice, but there is more she could do with it yet.