REVIEW FROM www.livingtradition.co.uk
- Goose Music Cellar Records CRSFF0103
Behind this unusual
name lurks a duo from Orkney. Douglas Montgomery and Brian Cromarty have
been playing together in various line-ups for decades, and it shows, but
this is their first commercial recording. Subtitled "traditional and original
music from Orkney", Goose Music is feisty fiddle and gutsy guitar with
that swing so typical of Scotland's northern isles, and a strong blues
flavour on the vocals. Most of the tunes and songs are their own compositions,
and their style owes as much to American folk music as to Celtic.
From the off, Montgomery and Cromarty are completely in control. Every
note is in place, every word is clear, every touch is totally professional.
At the same time, they're clearly having enormous fun with this music
and it's impossible not to be carried along by their energy and enthusiasm.
The opening Karaoke Carol introduces Brian's raw earthy voice, perfect
for his modern ballads and blues: he sings us seven of his songs here,
powerful numbers all, in a style somewhere between Leadbelly and Dylan.
On Red Diesel Reels Douglas serves up a trio of original tunes from syncopated
country to straight-ahead reels, each one more toe-tapping. Brian's aching
Song For Ali is followed by the first of two fabulous slow airs: both
Tune For Ali and Watersound Shore are world class melodies beautifully
And so it continues, with a mix of trad and blues, sweet tunes and bitter
songs. Saltfishforty rock it up a bit whenever they get an excuse, and
what better excuse is there than Highland Park whisky? Brian is at his
best on the Djangoesque Tabasco Twist, a humorous Hot Club romp, and Tongadale
Stroganoff is a rock'n'rollercoaster with Douglas pulling out all the
stops. Goose Music is a class act from start to finish.