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GILMORE & ROBERTS - A Problem Of Our Kind 

GILMORE & ROBERTS - A Problem Of Our Kind 
GR! Records GRR008 

Sometimes one buys an album more to encourage young artists than because the gig was memorable. This duo is still quite young but don’t lack encouragement. Katriona Gilmore (fiddle, mandolin) and Jamie Roberts (guitar) graduated from Leeds College of Music in 2007, and have a considerable track record. They have toured widely both as a duo and individually with well known groups, this is their fifth studio album and they have been nominated three times at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. However, albums can’t tell the whole story and this one, good as it is, left me with a strong desire to hear them live. If they can really grab an audience, it would be a gig to remember.

The content of the songs is varied and interesting, often with a socio-political and always a human twist. There is a wide range, too wide to discuss in a brief review. For instance, Gauntlet is based on an 1818 legal case about a man accused of murder which led to the abolition of ‘trial by battle’; On The Line concerns varying commuter reactions from sympathy to irritation at the delay following a suicide on the line; Things You Left Behind is in memory of Katriona’s aunt; and the delightful Just A Piece Of Wood, which stays the right side of sentimental, is about Katriona’s fiddle.

The lyrics, occasional infelicities aside, are well crafted, both singers have engaging voices, their diction is excellent and the instrumental work, enhanced by guest musicians, skilful, varied and effective.

Frank Bechhofer

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This album was reviewed in Issue 126 of The Living Tradition magazine.