Derek Gifford of Folk NorthWest
reviews Both Shine as One by Ron Taylor & Jeff GillettBoth Ron and Jeff have long pedigrees in the folk world and this experience shows through throughout the recording. Ron sings while Jeff provides the accompaniments on a variety of instruments which include guitar, mandola, mandolin, English concertina and Appalachian dulcimer; and if that wasnt enough he also adds the occasional harmony line!
The songs are an eclectic mix from mainly traditional sources including well known ones such as Seven Little Gypsies, Green Bushes, John Barleycorn and Rocking the Cradle.
I particularly liked the version of Jack Caundle and the Ferryland Sealer, new to me and which is a fine no holds barred rendition of that despicable trade.
Another new discovery on my part was the opening track, Lisbon, an atypical war time parting song with many original twists in the lyrics!
All Among the Barley, with tune written by Mike Gabriel, is one of my favourite harvest songs so I listened with extra care to this performance - I wasnt disappointed.
Kind Friends and Companions nicely rounds off the collection of 13 songs not all of which Ive commented on, of course..
Apart from the usual comprehensive notes on the singers and the songs (with some amusing asides!) that one comes to expect from Wild Goose inserts there is also a rather intriguing piece entitled Our Approach to the Songs. Im not quite sure why they felt it necessary to explain this because what they say is plainly what they do over the duration of the album!
This is more than just a collection of traditional songs well sung and superbly accompanied. This is an album of carefully crafted arrangements where both singer and accompanist are obviously familiar and confident with their material. Pure joy that doesnt pall!