Nygel Packett and Sue Whitehead of Folk London
reviews Days O' Grace by Hector GilchristHalf the Goose (clue not Nygel) is a sucker for Scottish songs and a Scottish accent, probably due to her student days in Dundee. Most of the songs on this album are Scottish songs with known authors, the exceptions being Willie's Drooned in Yarrow and Lay the Bent tae the Bonny Broom.
Although this is Hector's fourth album, to our shame we had not heard of him before, but we really liked this CD. Hector has a lovely straightforward unmannered voice, and Vicki Swan, Jonny Dyer and Moira Craig accompany it perfectly, vocally and instrumentally. They seem to know exactly what to add and when which always helps!
Particular highlights for us were Glass Maker's Hand, a lovely track by Colum Sands, with some Simpson esque guitar accompanying and nice backing vocals which we think are by Moira, and a beautiful song previously unknown to us with lyrics by Robert Burns, The Gowden Locks o' Anna. There is also a very moving version of the well known John Condon, included to commemorate the centenary of WW1.
Our only reservation was the track Lay the Bent tae the Bonny Broom, which we felt was rather lacklustre, however this may be due to our love for John Kirkpatrick's rousing version of the same song (which John calls Riddles Wisely Expounded). That's a very minor quibble though, and overall we really liked this album.
We shall be looking out for more from Hector Gilchrist in the future!
(The Goose Is Out!)