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GR! Records GRR004

I have to admit that I didn’t pay much attention to Shadows and Half Light, Katriona and Jamie’s debut release, so when this arrived for review I wasn’t sure what to expect. After a couple of listens it is evident that either there has been a significant improvement, or I missed out on something good. Reading their extensive press release it seems likely to be the latter.

Katriona Gilmore, part of the excellent Tiny Tin Lady and the equally good Rosie Doonan’s  Snapdragon, plays fiddle and mandolin, sharing vocal duties with Jamie Roberts of the recently disbanded Kerfuffle. He plays what is described as lap-tapping guitar as well as in a more standard manner. I think Katriona is at her best vocally on Fleetwood Fair a song of sinister goings on, whilst All I’ve Known – penned and sung by Jamie - provides a thoughtful opening track about society nowadays - a folk song for today.

The wonders of email allowed the banjo of Cia Cherryholmes to be used on Off To California showing Katriona’s interest in Americana, whilst the more English approach is evident on The Bookseller’s Story and showcases Jamie’s songwriting ability. In fact most of the songs are penned by either Katriona or Jamie with more than a nod to things traditional, but show a maturity of style.

Katriona and Jamie have done a good job on production, although it is possible to hear the influence of Stu Hanna who is credited with mastering the CD. I must just mention the excellent packaging of Up From the Deep, essential in this day of digital downloading.  Overall I enjoyed the quality of this CD right from start to finish, although I found the songs more memorable than the three instrumental tracks.

Now where did I put their debut album..........

Dave Beeby

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This album was reviewed in Issue 86 of The Living Tradition magazine.