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WINTER WILSON - Live And Unconventional 

WINTER WILSON - Live And Unconventional 
Private Label WWCD010 

Kip Winter and Dave Wilson seem to have led something of a charmed life since taking the life-changing decision to become professional musicians seven years ago. Then, just when you thought things couldn’t get any better, they were invited to appear as special guests on Fairport Convention’s 2018 Winter Tour. The title track from their latest studio album Far Off On The Horizon opens that tour’s live set captured on this CD, which delivers a glorious parade of 15 songs and just enough of the between-song presence to show how persuasive a live draw the couple are, with their confidence and rapport, their vocal and instrumental proficiency, all talents modestly deployed to maximum effect.

Dave’s songs derive their inspiration from events, literature and politics, but never do they get heavy or preachy. Melodies are accessible and the instrumental backdrops subtle (just guitar/s or banjo with piano accordion), but these elements sit perfectly with the often-hard-hitting lyrics, and the duo’s voices in harmony prove the icing on the cake. As well as thought-provoking and poignant, Winter Wilson can also do feisty and crowd-pleasing, as Kip’s bluesy wannabee-Bonnie-Raitt numbers demonstrate (the second of these brings on Ric Sanders and his fiddle). There simply isn’t a weak song in their already-extensive catalogue, and this live collection only makes you shout for more. The final pair of tracks on this CD was recorded as-live at the sound check, and follow the set’s final stages where the duo was joined by the whole Fairport band for Still Life In The Old Dog Yet and an honourable cover of Sandy Denny’s It’ll Take A Long Time.

This is a brilliant, exceptionally well-recorded live album that really does convince that Kip and Dave are well and truly at the top of their game and worthy of the prestigious Fairport endorsement many times over.

David Kidman


This review appeared in Issue 130 of The Living Tradition magazine