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Dai Jeffries of R2

reviews A Handful of Sky by Nick Wyke and Becki Driscoll

A Handful Of Sky is the third album from Devon duo Nick Wyke and Becki Driscoll. They both play violin and viola and their
music is built around the interplay of the two instruments. Becki also plays bassoon, which adds a touch of funk to a set of hornpipes, and their guests provide double bass and French horn.

More than half the record is instrumental a style that thirty years ago we were pleased to call English Country Music. With two instruments the touch is light but the beat is strong for the dance tunes. Both players also write but they concentrate on traditional material with an emphasis on the West Country. That said, 'Terra Da Lua'/'John Of Paris, The New Way' is a splendid set the first tune is written by Becki and the second comes from Lincolnshire.

The songs are similarly biased westwards. The opener, 'Rambleaway', is from Baring Gould, and 'The Cornwall Apprentice' and 'The Exmoor Ram' are both better known under other titles, but 'The Torrington Ringers' is definitely a regional speciality. A Handful Of Sky is a delightfully sunny record the perfect antidote to another English summer.