Better-late-than-never Reviews 2×2: Grey & Peach, Macfarlane & Henderson

2×2 = two albums, both with two musicians and lots of the deceptively simple beauty I love in this music. I wasn’t properly awake when these were released earlier this year but, again, better late…

The mesmerizing Air Iomall (On the Edge) by Charlie Grey & Joseph Peach is paired with a film of the same name, documenting the pair’s musical journey to the outmost Scottish islands in the Atlantic, but stands perfectly fine on its own. I sincerely hope to see the film some day, though. because the music here is warm and so lovely, small in scale but big in soul.

With piano and fiddle in the frontline, often backed by accordion and/or guitat, the aural impressions of those landscapes come through focused, with formidable inner strength.

Anchored in trad, Grey and Peach create their own musical vision whose lucid quality at times reminds me of Tannara, the most excellent modern folk band Joseph Peach plays in.

I recommend enjoying Air Iomall deep in your favorite lazy boy or couch, the music in your headphones carrying you to those faraway isles…

Listen and buy the album here:

Master fiddler Iain Macfarlane’s and harpist-multitalent Ingrid Henderson’s Cockerel In The Reel got great reviews when it was released in the spring, and deservedly so. The pair had put out a brill collection of tunes featuring only two instruments each, with a couple of solo harp tunes in the mix as well.

Again, less is more: the no frills approach gives you the space and clarity to enjoy all the detail in the spirited playing, and the album’s overall feel is as clear and bright as a sunny spring day.

And, as intimate and up close as this music is, I almost yearn to hear some of these tracks in a film. Especially the lovely harp & accordion Waltzes: Fernlea & Maggie and the beautiful fiddle & piano piece Alistair, Dailbeag that follows right after evoke stories in my mind…

Buy the album here:

Both of these albums come warmly recommended, especially at this time as they will warm the dark northern nights, falling into winter, with their music’s glow.

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