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Pete Fyfe of Pete Fyfe

reviews New Road to Alston by Dave Townsend and Gill Redmond

It’s nice to see that Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas don’t have sole rights when it comes to ‘cello’ based projects for here we have the equally entertaining duo Townsend & Redmond. Now, concertina and cello may not be on the lips of every self-respecting ‘folk’ musician when it comes to musical bedfellows but in the hands of these two the quality is almost mercurial in its presentation if the opening track “New Road To Alston” is anything to go by. Upping the ante played at a speed more often associated with its cousin the fiddle the segue (in the almost “It’s A Knock Out” presented handover) certainly drives “Trip To Cartmel” at a good pace and that, if you’re like me will be totally unexpected. The following track “The Lousy Tailor” is one of those jovial ‘too-ral-oo’ type songs that you’d expect to hear from the likes of John Kirkpatrick and very suited to Townsend’s warm tones. Here we have a well researched choice of material including jaunty versions of “Banks Of The Sweet Primroses” and “Rolling In The Dew” performed with plenty bonhomie and all expertly played with that certain sparkle as if having been kissed by an effervescent fizz of champagne…or at least a bottle of Asti Spumanti.