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GOODWIN & GRAY - As The Crow Flies

GOODWIN & GRAY - As The Crow Flies
Steeplejack Music SJCD016

This is a super effort from two Brits currently domiciled in Heidelberg, Germany, comprising 12 (mostly) traditional songs, the exceptions being an authentic take on Richard Thompson’s Genesis Hall and the title tune which is clagged on to The Twa Corbies. Most of the songs are familiar standards – including a stunning Shawneetown and competent readings of The Female Drummer and The Rambling Soldier. Scot, Iain Goodwin (Ayrshire), provides all the guitar parts and his fair share of the vocals, while Tim Gray (from NE England but of Northern Irish parentage) plays either cittern or bouzouki on most tracks and has the balance of the vocals. Guest Bernd Klippert is superb on low whistle and uillean pipes. Another notable supporting talent, Andrew Cadie, contributes fiddle to most songs also. The pair’s residency at an Irish pub in the aforesaid Heidelberg has ensured that all of these songs are well ‘played in’, but as the pair don’t appear to have any other gigs scheduled, on the strength of this CD I would like to think that a tour might be in the offing.

If I had to choose an absolute favourite track I would have to opt for the closer, The Wheels Of The World, which is a nineteenth century Irish tale of aspiration from a time when the prospect of possible future rule by Napoleon might have been an almost preferable option to the current plight of the linen workers. The pair’s version of Bonny Woodhall runs it a pretty close second to my mind.

Grem Devlin

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This album was reviewed in Issue 99 of The Living Tradition magazine.