Red House is here! We’ve put all the music into a limited edition book for you to pre-order along with the album. We had a limited edition book packed with all the dots, the words, the harmonies, extra parts and photographs. This is now sold out.
Red House Listener Quotes
- The Rambling Shuiler
- The Shoemaker Set
- Benjamin Bowmaneer
- The Sheffield Apprentice
- The Red House Set
- The Proposal
- Trad II
- The Private Still
- The Old Bark Hut
- The Bolinder Set
Living Tradition – December 2013
Review available on their website.
fRoots review December 2013
Reviewing any of this charismatic duo’s previous albums, I’ve tended to remark on their artistic honesty, musical intelligence and seemingly effortless degree of accomplish-ment. And with each successive album they seem able to discover new and subtle ways of developing and showcasing their unassuming all-round musicianship and versatility, a gentle brand of virtuosity where they have no need to prove themselves.
Red House is a happy record all told, this being reflected in the relaxed, easygoing nature of the booklet’s accompanying photos – a couple at ease with their music and each other, and whose sense of fun is undiminished by the degree of serious thought and hard work they clearly put into their music- making. The disc’s lively opener The Rambling Shuiler has the ring of familiarity, with its assured line and expression in the vocals and guest fiddler Tom Kitching leading Vicki’s flute and Jonny’s guitar in a merry Planxty dance. Each track that follows is equally irresistible in its own way, providing its own spe- cial soundscape conjured from the exhilarating instrumental armoury of the participants. Vicki’s now legendary prowess on the nyckelharpa accompanies her Swedish bagpipes on a set of tunes mostly attributed to her great- grandfather Tomas Karlsson, while at other points she swaps over to Scottish smallpipes or English border pipes with equal facility. The ancillary colours of accordeon, piano and double bass, used sparingly, also play their part in enhancing listener interest – indeed, in matters of arrangement Vicki and Jonny seem to have a sixth sense for coming up with interesting, attractive and complementary instrumental scorings: safe and accessible, yes, but invariably fresh.
And as far as composition is concerned, Jonny’s the principal tunesmith on this occasion having provided melodies to two items from Roy Palmer’s collection A Book Of British Ballads, in addition to a charming new synthesis of the ‘proposal’ song, and (perhaps finest of all) an aptly poignant new tune to ‘Banjo’ Paterson’s rueful reminiscence The Old Bark Hut. Jonny also penned the disc’s final tune-set, Bolinder, which takes its rhythm – literally, and audibly – from that of the engine of a 1937 narrowboat! Now that interpolation could’ve been just a silly gim- mick to end the record but in the end I’m glad it made the final cut… And that’s just one example of Vicki and Jonny’s felicitous ingenuity and their desire to get the most out of chance discoveries. Not only are they skilled communicators with a proven ability to engage a live audience, but this readily extends across into the CD medium, which is no mean achievement.