Review from Shire Folk

18th November 2015

Production: Review from Shire Folk
Author: Barry Goodman

This is their first full-length duo recording, and it’s well worth the wait. Playing together since 2006, both also work with very successful bands (Tiny Tin Lady and Kerfuffle); on Shadows and Half Light they display their multi-instrumental skills together with considerable songwriting talent.

The opening track, Hunter Man, written and sung by Katriona, is an atmospheric, eerie tale, backed by suitably insistent rhythm and faultlessly sung. So Long, a story of indolent youth, demonstrates Jamie’s expertise for writing tunes that fit his words like a glove, as does Stopped Clock, with its halting rhythm and epic theme of subjection and retribution. Katriona’s Susannah is a lateral take on Stephen Foster’s Oh Susannah, and her closing song, Travelling in Time, has a delightfully twisty tune carrying the rather enigmatic words. The instrumental sets are complex and invigorating, as one would expect from two such musical individuals. My favourite is Middle of May, with its jazzy, well-constructed tune and lush arrangement. Outstanding tracks for me were the aforementioned Hunter Man and Jamie’s I Don’t Want to Say Goodbye, where his virtuosic percussive lap-style guitar technique is used to full effect. Supported by Dom Howell (bodhran), Marjorie Paterson (cello), Jack Theedom (double bass) and Jamie’s sister Kathryn Roberts (vocals and piano), this is an exceptionally well-produced and beautifully-packaged album that does

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