Let me just say that I find Simon Thoumire’s excellent Hands Up For Trad website and his Foot Stompin’ podcast most valuable sources for a fanboy like me to spot new and exciting music. It was on one of the more recents podcasts I came across the name of Andrew Waite. Didn’t ring no bells but when I got a sample of his music, my bells were most definitely ringing, and loudly, too.
As it turned out, I had actually heard Andrew’s amazing accordion playing before: he is one of the guys in the brilliant Dallahan and also in the lineup of the equally fabulous Fourth Moon and Eliza Carthy’s Wayward Band and… In other words, this may be a debut solo album but it comes from a very experienced and recognized musician – thanks for the concise background info on his web site.
What we have here is music I very much enjoy. The tunes are strong and varied, roughly in the genre on “contemporary Scottish folk” (or something like it) with much nice colour and variation from other musical directions as well (the opening track Fly Away Home goes suddenly all Balkan in the middle of the piece, for example) which means this album is right up my ecletic alley. And the playing is… superb. I’m a big fan on Mànran‘s accordion wiz Gary Innes and his solo output, and there’s a certain kinship to Gary’s ouvre here. But master Waite’s grooves may be just that bit more tight, with a slightly jazzier tinge popping up here and there.
And since I’m a sucker for good and thought out arrangements, I give an extra point to the album for that. The ensemble playing is outright delicious and the over seven minutes of Dom & Bryony’s testify to a great capacity to build an extended musical narrative that goes through several moods and grooves without sounding at all hodgepodge-y. And I dig the way that very focused track jumps directly into the quick-tempo head-bobbing, foot-tapping cathartic drive of Synapse.
Tyde is a well balanced, satisfying album from a very talented guy who makes his accordion sing and groove so naturally. There are frankly no weak tunes here and and as the closer, Iver’s, ends as peacefully as a river flowing into sea, I am left waiting for more from Mr. Waite 🙂