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Green - Found on the Wave
GREEN "Found on the Wave" KRL CDLDL1267

Green are John Mitchell and Clare Lindley; a duo originally formed in Aberdeen who have racked up quite an impressive CV in their first five years of life. On the basis of this CD, they are obviously both talented and experienced performers; both guitar (John) and fiddle (Clare) work is imaginative while the vocals are strong and clear. Arrangements are good, and the overall sound is full of life and drive. Having said all this, I'm afraid the album doesn't really appeal to me; I suspect this is a matter of personal taste but then reviews are personal things.

So why don't I like it? Well, for one thing, the bulk of the twelve tracks are original material, and whilst I quite like the three instrumentals - "Jamie Gow's Farewell to Methadone" especially, if only for the title - I'm just not a fan of singer/songwriter work per se. Apart from a few very notable exceptions it rarely makes an impression that stays in my mind after the last chord has died away, and only one track here - "Squaddie's Lament" - seems to have the potential to do that; and even that is perhaps a minute longer than the material really sustain.

Against this, there are two songs that I really don't like at all - I won't mention them by name but both have a rather romanticised historical base which doesn't appeal to me, and a writer who doesn't know the difference between Pressganging and Shanghai-ing should leave sea stories alone ... (read Stan Hughill, John!). As for the two traditional tracks; "Rattlin' Roaring Willie" suits their style quite well, but I can't enjoy the treatment of "Oh Jonnie My Man" - upbeat syncopation doesn't fit in with the raw delicacy of this song and fine as Clare Lindsay's singing is, the whole style just drives too fast to do justice to the storyline. The sleeve notes indicate that Green don't take the song too seriously, so maybe that was their intention; but if you don't like a song, why sing it?

As I said, this is personal opinion; I'm sure that Green have many fans and will probably have more, and those who like their live performance will probably like the CD - it is professionally made and performed throughout, and deserves to sell well at gigs. But unless you're deeply into all singer/songwriter material, regardless, don't buy it on spec. - go and see them first.

Corinne Male

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This album was reviewed in Issue 28 of The Living Tradition magazine.