Mike Everett of Mardles
reviews Legends & Lovers by Issy & David Emeney with Kate RiazIssy and David Emeney may be known to some readers as they are natives of Suffolk and lived here until four years ago when they moved to Cheddar in Somerset. They have now formed a trio by teaming up with cello player Kate Riaz, and are joined by fiddle maestro John Dipper on a couple of tracks.
Issy has written most of the material on the album and plays melodeon, which she took up just ten years ago after hearing Tony Halls playing. Davids guitar style has been influenced, he says, by one of his heroes, Vin Garbutt. Kate plays the cello because they had no clarinets left when she wanted to learn an instrument at school. Her cello was made for her by her father.
The traditional songs are Turpin the Blade and The Mole Catcher and just one traditional tune is featured, Rattle the Cash. The rest of the CD showcases Issys talent as a songwriter and composer.
Issy seems able to turn her songwriting talent to almost any topic. The opening track is a song about a stretcher bearer, John Simpson Kirkpatrick, who used a few stray donkeys and saved over 300 lives in 1917 at Galipolli before being killed by a snipers bullet. The Bristol Giant tells the tale of Patrick Cotter, a giant of an Irishman who was sold to a Bristol fairground showman. The Ballad of Ann Green tells of an Oxford woman who was hanged for murdering her newborn child in the 17th century but was still breathing when her body was sent to surgeons for dissection. The Skies Turned Grey was written during a foot and mouth crisis. Bedtime deals with the problems of getting young children to bed, while The First of May celebrates the coming of summer. They all have lyrics worth listening to and some also have good sing-a-long choruses.
This is a fine album from a talented and relatively unknown trio who are well worth seeking out. They have a couple of local dates at the end of the month at Colchester on 25th February, supporting Kathryn Tickell, and the next day at The Hoy at Anchor, so you can get to see them and grab a copy of this CD.