'Second recording of guitar music by Keith
Hinchliffe, who as all good English musicians must, spent time playing
with the Albion Band. On 'Islands' he plays 21 different selections,
most of which are relatively unknown, taken from the Irish, Scottish
and Welsh traditions.
'Hinchliffe lovingly recreates the sense of the
old tunes with his fluid guitar style and allows the melodic themes to
be the main focus. He's also recorded the guitar with a very "true"
sound, and not buried it in a lot of echo and reverb. An enjoyable
based Keith will need little introduction to many of us from his
performances at folk clubs and sessions, where his intricate, flawless
guitar style has caused many a jaw to drop.The CD opens up with Humours of Castle Comer,
a stately Irish
tune that gives us our introduction to Keith's lovely, rich guitar
sound, which is consistent throughout all 21 tracks. Mabel Kelly ,a tune from the pen of the 18th
century blind harpist Turlough O'Carolan follows, demonstrating nicely
Keith's sense of timing and pace.
also contains another Carolan tune, Morgan Magan, which could make you wonder how many
fingers Keith has, what with his blend of intricate melody and
contrapuntal bass. Indeed, the sound he gets from his guitar does have
a harp-like quality to it, particularly on some tracks like
The Sheep under
the Snow, a haunting
Manx tune, my favourite along with Lord Mayo,which is a curious little melody.The
Isle of Man is also represented by When Christ was Born, and Wales by A
Honeyed Lip, a quite
beautiful, melancholy air.
are two tunes from Niel Gow, an 18th century Scots writer, and one from
his contemporary William Marshall. The first two are the lengthily
titled Niel Gow's lament for the Death of his Second Wife
and Farewell to Whisky and the third is Chapel
slightly more upbeat note are Off to California and the wonderfully
jaunty Rosewood Jig, which has an introduction to tie
knots in your fingers.Other tunes include The Monaghan Jig, The Marquis of Huntly's Strathspey, The Lark in the Clear Air and Madame Bonaparte.
recording is good and clear, allowing the sound of Keith's guitar to
come through with all its richness of tone.On the whole a very
accomplished CD with marvellous musicianship and an interesting
selection of tunes.'