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THREADED - Fair Winds & Following Seas

THREADED - Fair Winds & Following Seas
Private Label THR002

This second album release by classically trained trio Jamie Rutherford (guitar, lead vocals), Ning-ning Li (violin) and Rosie Bott (clarinet), introduced to the folk scene through association with producer Joe Broughton’s Conservatoire Folk Ensemble, follows soon after their acclaimed debut album, Of What We Spoke, in 2015.

The self composed (individually and jointly) and collectively arranged seven instrumentals and four songs are generally themed around places, journeying and friendship, with two pieces (not sung) inspired by poems by friend Molly Luke (where more extensive citation might perhaps have been mutually beneficial).

Threaded excel in intricate arrangements, brilliantly interweaving the guitar and fiddle and using the distinctive tonal companionship of the clarinet for additional airiness, textural infusion and dynamic detail. Richly melodic and finely crafted movement, often classical in feel, but suffused with folk elements (with Celtic and Americana tingeing in particular) and charged with atmospheric detail, characterise their offer.

Arizonian landscape inspired Aspen Groves, ‘Dragon finding adventure’ Tale Of A Wyvern, evocative expression of daybreak In The Dawn, and gently melancholic interlude Milonga Nostalgica (‘haunted by the ghost of a previous life’) typify their excellent musicianship. Interesting sequential development and varied movement, fine guitar figures with skilled use of harmonics, and beautifully expressive fiddle combine to exceptional effect. More poetic imagery and wordsmithery in the songs might even better befit their exquisite musicianship and adroit animation of the lyrics; and the lead vocal occasionally feels a tad faint and uncertain. Without doubt, however, this is creative, clever and captivating music of instant allure and appeal.

Kevin T. Ward

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This album was reviewed in Issue 120 of The Living Tradition magazine.