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Rootbeat Records RBRCD28

There seems to be something special produced when siblings make music together. You only have to listen to the wonderful harmonies produced by the Wilson Family, the uniqueness of Jo Freya and her sister Fi Fraser, or the complete understanding and togetherness that the wonderful Carrivick sisters have, to understand what I mean. And on the basis of Already Home, the Rheingans Sisters are no exceptions.

Despite their name, they are yet another product of Derbyshire and although now separated geographically by many miles (Anna is studying in France), they couldn’t be more together musically. Both play lots of stringed instruments, many of which have been made by their father, including the unique bansitar (no prizes for guessing the origins of this). The photography of Elly Lucas tells the story of these and the workshop.

There is a good mix of tune sets and songs amongst the 12 tracks. Anna sings a couple which sound excellent but are in a foreign tongue, so I have to believe what the sleeve notes say about them, whilst Rowan proves to be a songwriter of some note. I particularly like Mackerel and the tragic story it tells of a folk festival they attended.

Of the tunes, Rainy Day Polska has a most enjoyable opening and feels like a lot of fun, whilst Banjo Branle is a great dance tune. But for me, it is the last track, Keep The Whole Thing Turning / Fastian, which is the real showstopper - great vocals mixed with the warmth of their instrumentation.

The whole thing has been brilliantly recorded by Dylan Fowler, allowing the excellent music of the Rheingans Sisters to be heard at its best. Definitely an album to enjoy.

Dave Beeby

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This album was reviewed in Issue 112 of The Living Tradition magazine.