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CHRIS AND KELLIE WHILE 'Chris and Kellie While' Fat Cat Records FATCD014

This is a varied and serene album from excellent mother and daughter duo Chris and Kellie While. Chris is well known for her collaboration with Julie Matthews, and Kellie for her exciting contribution to the Albion Band and e2K. They join together here in an appealing collection of songs characterised by their stripped back simplicity. Chris and Kellie's accomplished guitar playing accompanies their distinctive singing.

There is a nicely balanced feel to the album with both singers taking turns to lead or provide harmony. The album builds up its impact as Chris's song-writing skills emerge - after a number of earlier covers - alongside Kellie's extraordinary singing. The two highlights are indeed Chris's own compositions. Memories Of You features Chris's resonant singing leading in a tribute to her father. It is particularly moving when Kellie joins in the chorus evoking a sense of connection across the three generations. Safe Place meanwhile hits you with the sheer emotional power of Kellie's voice.

The album concentrates on contemporary song, sometimes with an American flavour as in Empty Hearts by Johnson and McDonald as recorded recently by Alison Krauss. Van Diemen's Land, however, shows the duo can cover a radical traditional song too in a number effectively arranged by Chris. Her voice seems very suited both to the narrative as well as lyrical vein - as indeed is Kellie's. This is surely not the last recording of such a highly successful combination. More concentration on Chris's own songs would enhance a future album even further.

Andy Jurgis

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This album was reviewed in Issue 58 of The Living Tradition magazine.