Siān Phillips & Danny Kilbride "Jac tō Bach " SPDKCD01


Siān and Danny's CD is the result of an alliance between two of Wales' principal folk musicians. Siān (fiddle) and Danny (guitar) give us twelve tracks, with a total of twenty-four tunes which are evenly split between traditional and self-composed melodies. There are up-tempo tunes, and some lovely slow ones, upon which all feature the fiddle as lead instrument with the guitar providing basic accompaniment.

Living in the north east of England, I have not hitherto heard of this duo, and cannot say if this is their first release together. I have persevered with their CD, and played it three times: the tunes are played well, and Siān is clearly a very talented fiddler, whilst Danny picks away competently in the background. No doubt about it, between them they hit all the correct notes. But sadly I am unable to escape the opinion that this release has its drawbacks.

Nobody loves a fiddle/guitar combination more than myself but, after twenty-four tunes, the attention starts to wander. The CD cries out for variety and a bit of colour. Can either of the duo sing? Or have they a mate who could put on a bit of squeeze-box? Or even a switch to Danny's guitar occasionally taking the lead would have been nice. But the real problem is that the CD's sound quality is uniformly flat, and any passion in their playing does not transmit itself through the grooves - or whatever it is that CD's have these days. The disk just doesn't grab you by the whatsits and make you think WOW. I notice that the duo produced this album themselves, and my advice to them would be to employ an independent producer next time. Sorry you guys, but my verdict is "accomplished if not over exciting".

Adrian Booth


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