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Kathryn Tickell - Air Dancing
Posted by Play.com Reviewer, 23/02/2008 09:26:08
The beautiful melody 'April Frolic' written by Border fiddler Ron Purvis opens the cd and you can just tell that Kathryn and her band have enjoyed the experience of turning the tune on its head. It's all done very tastefully (well, what else did you expect?) and each segue seems to better the last. Mind you, on the third turn when it gets into the tune proper - so to speak - you can't help but smile. Steering the listener with time changes is no new thing but through subtle use of nuances you can educate the ear of your audience to be more discerning a point that is never lost on any of the protagonists. On the next track and in much the same way that 'Midnight On The Water' or 'The Ashokan Farewell' have been presented by American string bands through liberal use of the double-stop (chordal) fiddle technique brother Peter Tickell's arrangement of the Alistair Anderson tune 'Rhymeside' gives the tune a whole new colour. Now, I don't know if it's just me but Kathryn seems to have settled for a more (shall we say) traditional approach over her past couple of albums and although her experimentation in previous recordings have been nothing short of stunning in a flashy show of technical brilliance I for one far prefer her most recent, more organic approach. The technicality is still there but stripped bare to let the beauty of the melody imbed itself in your consciousness is to me anyway so much more important than a dazzling display of digital dexterity. That's not to say there aren't the touches of showmanship you would expect from such august company as Joss Clapp (guitar), Julian Sutton's melodeon plus occasional splashes of percussion courtesy of Donald Hay it's just that things aren't so obviously in your face. This is a well-crafted album with some great tunes many of which are written by the band members and I'm sure that like the traditional track 'Herd On The Hill/Elsie Marley' they will find their way into numerous pub sessions.
Note: This Review was made by Play.com customer: celtic3 on Rakuten’s Play.com on the date shown.
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