Alan Rose of Living Tradition
reviews Crux by CrucibleCrux is the second album from this young, multi-talented quartet. Richard Arrowsmith plays melodeon, Gavin Davenport plays cittern and guitar, Jess Arrowsmith plays fiddle and viola, and Helena Reynolds plays fiddle and bagpipes. All four sing, so between them they have the broadest palette imaginable to arrange and deliver their mainly traditional material. They have obviously been working hard since the release of their first album, which I reviewed for TLT in the early spring of 2004. As the Wild Goose press release has it, Changeling was good, but I think this is a more confident and accomplished album...
The album opens with two contemporary songs, a full-on version of John Kirkpatricks Hardyesque Georges Son and an accapella treatment of Ron Angels Chemical Workers Song, which give a good indication of what follows. There are at least four sets of tunes and songs from all corners of the tradition; each delivered with enthusiasm, flair and skill by people who not only love what they do, but are also very good at doing it.
You dont need to go visiting any websites to find out more about this band - they were TLT cover stars in issue 57 where Bob Walsers article provided insight and information, as well as a photo featuring them all looking in different directions. On the evidence of Crux, this photo is wildly inaccurate. Crucible are a band whose unity of direction is clear for all to hear.