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Baz Parkes of Shreds and Patches

reviews Both Shine as One by Ron Taylor & Jeff Gillett

Ron began his singing career with the much acclaimed and highly influential Songwainers, then moved through Regal Slip (a joke I only recently worked out!) After over 20 years singing mostly unaccompanied, he teamed up with Jeff, a fine multi-instrumentalist whose playing history seems to take in most musical styles. He's played in various ceilidh bands including Rough Music, which, if my memory serves me well, included our esteemed Assistant Ed. amongst its ranks.

Given such a history, the playing and singing are, as you would expect, exemplary, and the production up to Wildgoose's usual faultless standard. There are some unusual variants on well-known songs; Rocking the Cradle (9) and Thomas the Rhymer (11) being particularly effective. All Among the Barley (6) is excellent, and shows that not all great harvest songs have to be traditional. Ron's voice is strong; mature, yet mellow (sounds like an advert for some supermarket cheese. Sorry, Ron!) and ,Jeff's accompaniments work well. But it all sounds very much the same; I'd have liked a bit more variety in pace and style. The closing track hind Friends and Companions gives us that, with some lovely English concertina playing working in absolute harmony with the vocals. But that's probably being picky.

If you are a lover of good songs well sung and accompanied, this is for you. And I can think of a few people working the festivals who could do with giving it a listen as an example of how to do it right.