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Oz Hardwick of R2

reviews Gleowien by Vicki Swan & Jonny Dyer

The title, in case you're wondering, is a Middle English term for making music and making merry, and it's pretty apt here. Swan is best known for her prowess on Scottish smallpipes, Dyer on guitar and accordion, but there's also both instrumentation and inspiration from over the North Sea here, with Swedish cittra and nyckelharpa entering the mix.

Those expecting tune sets from the duo will be more than satisfied with those herein, both traditional and original, which bring into sharp focus the cultural dialogue between north-east Britain and Scandinavia - Swan's uplifting ‘Asavagen’ and ‘Whist’ being particular highlights. It's testament to the quality on offer that the songs hold their own in such company, but an enthralling take on Child #3 and a clutch of originals make for a beautifully balanced and rewarding collection.