Alastair Currie of Mid Somerset Newspaper
reviews Legends & Lovers by Issy & David Emeney with Kate RiazThey played at Priddy and Wookey Hole festivals but, until earlier this year, the only way to take Issy and David Emeney and Kate Riaz home was to sweet?talk them ? now you can get a copy of their latest CD.
The Emeneys, who live in Cheddar, often earn the "traditional" tag because they play melodeon and guitar/bouzouki respectively, but Issy's songs (10 of the dozen tracks on Legends and Lovers) are influenced by traditional English music, not rearrangements. The production is honest and unpretentious, leaving their singing and musicianship with nowhere to hide, as if they would need it. Kate and her cello add depth throughout but perhaps her showcase is in the pair of tunes, Round House Hill and Indian Summer. The former, a brooding atmospheric lament inspired by the hill behind the Emeneys' house, leads into a very lively dance composed one September.
The hardest hitting song, destined to be more widely known since accordion maestro John Kirkpatrick picked it up, is undoubtedly The Skies Turned Grey, which tells of lives ruined and ended by the first foot and mouth crisis. Moving from fact to legend, Turpin The Blade is a spirited traditional song guaranteed to get acoustic clubs joining in with the chorus. As for lovers, The Shores Of Loch Goil is a lilting cautionary tale of what happens when someone cannot say those three little words to their lover and the tune could stand alone too. The loving theme continues with Bedtime, a great lullaby for adults, that mixes exasperation and gentle humour about putting young children to bed.
Overall, this a collection of memorable tunes and songs with sensitive arrangements and effective harmonies inspired by the English tradition. Hopefully more people will discover and perform them; they deserve it.