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Braw Sailin’ CD008BSR 

This is the debut release by a band that is certainly making a name for itself, appearing all over the place to highly-critical reviews. Sometimes the move from stage to studio can prove problematic, but there are no worries here – this is an absolute cracker.

The musicians are all known from various projects, and comprise Charlie Grey, fiddle; Sally Simpson, fiddle and viola; Owen Sinclair, guitar; and Joseph Peach, piano and harmonium. This combination of instruments in itself catches the eye (and the ear), bringing a somewhat different structure than many traditional bands have. The lower register of the viola and the use of piano as a lead instrument rather than a vamping background create a sound that is freshly innovative, yet at the same time, is one which sits very comfortably within the tradition.

Throughout the CD there has been a lot of thought put into the arrangements, with a lot of layering and building up of sound, allowing the musicians to feed off each other and create an overall effect that is both dynamic and sensitive. The tunes are a mixture of traditional Scottish and Irish and self-written, and every track is played with a delicacy and deftness of touch which draws the listener in. Good variations of pace throughout ensure that once you’ve been drawn in, you keep listening and want more.

Definitely a band that should have organisers clamouring to book them, so look out for them on your travels - and buy the CD anyway!

Gordon Potter


This review appeared in Issue 133 of The Living Tradition magazine