Penguin Eggs

Thursday, 07 September 2017 08:34


Written by Tim Readman
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Rove (Independent)

This is the second album from this Cape Breton supergroup. They’ve lost one fiddler since their debut and haven’t changed their name to reflect their diminished number. No matter, because there’s nothing else that has diminished in any way. Quite the reverse, in fact—this is a walloping good set from these young lions of East Coast trad. 

There are five songs and seven instrumental tunes on Rove, all wonderfully engineered and mixed by Dave Gunning. I’m really happy to hear them increase the singing this time around. Rachel Davis and Darren McMullen both have fine voices, and McMullen’s take on Peter Gabriel’s Solsbury Hill was a very pleasant surprise. The purity of Davis’s vocals shines on Down the Road. 

Instrumentally, few can match these folks. Jason Roach, who is at his thunderous best on the fast and furious numbers, gives fine accompaniment to the superb fiddling of Davis and Chrissie Crowley. McMullen plays guitar, cello, bouzouki, mandolin, mandola, banjo, whistle, and flute—his choices of instrument perfectly complementing the rest of the band on every track. 

There are plenty of reels, jigs, and strathspeys as you’d expect, as well as a surprise addition of a Dave Brubeck tune. That’s Three To Get Ready played by four, in a band called five in Gaelic. What’s not to like? Get it while it’s hot!

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