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DANA & SUSAN ROBINSON - American Hornpipe

DANA & SUSAN ROBINSON - American Hornpipe
Threshold Music TM1012

Fourteen tracks of top grade, laid back Americana, embracing tunes, trad and original material, this will delight those who have seen this talented duo on their UK tours and is sure to convince those who have not done so thus far to catch them next time around.

Here, their own not inconsiderable talents are enhanced by the playing of a trio known collectively as Free Planet Radio.

The force of this quintet is naturally most evident in the tight, crisp, pacey and elevating tune sets. Try Podunk Rogue halfway through the set, an original, almost stately tune where instruments weave a vivid tapestry of sound.

However, the enhanced musical setting is a great boon elsewhere. For example, the set opens with a new approach to Who Killed Cock Robin (an overture with a neat self-reference!); the ceremonial nursery rhyme is driven along by percussion which seems to echo from some old Border Radio station, while the beat is surely what we’d have heard if Bo Diddley had played bluegrass. Later in the set Will The Circle Be Unbroken gets a very different but similarly valid reworking.

Contemporary songs are well chosen – Chris Coe’s Fashioned Of The Clay, and Lui Collins’ remarkable and witty Farmers Market A-Z.

However, in an album rich with delights, Dana’s own The Invitation stands head and shoulders above the rest. A celebration of an escape from the beeping instance of email and cellphone where one can indeed “unplug and recharge”, this is a potential classic...great tune, rewarding words, perfect arrangement and a chorus to die for.

Nigel Schofield

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This album was reviewed in Issue 93 of The Living Tradition magazine.