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Paul Burgess of The Living Tradition

reviews Sliptease by Vicki Swan & Jonny Dyer

Another CD issue from this hard-working and talented duo. Vicki Swan is a lovely smallpipes player and excellent on a growing collection of other instruments - the double bass on some tracks is a definite plus. Jonny Dyer is a nimble and rhythmic guitarist and a sensitive accordion player. As we have come to expect, their tune sets are unbeatable - a lovely sound, full of rhythm and internal drive, as well as beautiful melody playing.


The surprise this time around is the number of songs they tackle. Both sing well, and their harmony work is clean and true. Most of the songs are well known, such as Spencer The Rover, Polly Oliver, The Two Magicians and even when there is a newish tune (such as on Spencer) it doesnt sound too different from the original. Their diction is very good - to the extent that they sound as if theyve had elocution lessons, and this, plus some of the flute accompaniments and choice of material, can make items such as Lavenders Blue (yes  that one  dilly, dilly) veer dangerously close to being twee: the other side of the coin is the way they build the gory story of Young Hunting.


Ill just emphasis that the songs are enjoyable and they will make them even more in demand as far as bookings go, which is a very good thing as theyre well worth seeing. However, its the tune sets that Ill be returning to most often.