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Sand and Soil

Maclaine Colston Audio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: £24.99
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Product details

  • Audio CD (15 Jun 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Get Real
  • ASIN: B0028ER5L8
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 380,055 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Lazy Farmer
2. British Man O' War
3. Locksley Hall
4. Little Bear/Wobbly Cat/Twin Sisters
5. Devil & The Feathery Wife
6. Sweetness Of Mary/Hollywell Hornpipe
7. Don't You Go
8. Emily's Waltz
9. Barbaree
10. Bold Fisherman

Product Description

Product Description

Having spent a few years on other projects including stints with the first family of Englisn folk, Waterson:Carthy, Hammered Dulcimer virtuoso Maclaine Colston & Melodeon legend Saul Rose are re-launching with an album that takes a look back as well as forward. Half retrospective, Sand & Soil includes archive tracks from '96 & '98 together with new recordings, to form a flowing album of tunes & songs from sea & land. The unusual pairing of instruments sounds fresh & vibrant, & is key to their unique arrangements. Combine this with hearty voices & the result is a truly powerful performance.

BBC Review

An unusual pairing of instruments, an undeniably sound amount of dues-paying and a protracted gestation have combined to make this debut by Maclaine Colston & Saul Rose worth the wait. Sand & Soil is an engaging collection of gloriously ribald old English (and Scottish) songs and tunes, alongside a few recent compositions. This combination of tradition and innovation is largely successful.

Between them, Colston (hammered dulcimers, guitar and vocals) and Rose (melodeons and vocals) have collaborated with of a long line of Britfolk luminaries, including Waterson:Carthy, Faustus, Whapweasel, Jennifer Crook and Eliza Carthy's Kings of Calicutt.

It was with the latter that they collected the strathspey/hornpipe set Sweetness of Mary/Holywell Hornpipe, which, along with the other medley (Little Bear/Wobbly Cat/Twin Sisters), they actually recorded back in 1996.

Digitally restored, they sound fine alongside the other material. Rose's Wobbly Cat fits seamlessly between Lisa Ornstein's Little Bear and the old folkloric piece Twin Sisters, while Colston's own Emily's Waltz doesn't sound out of place, and features the resonant tones of his bass

dulcimer.

What distinguishes this duo is their choice of ancient and

amusing song-stories, kicking off with The Lazy Farmer, a tale about a work-shy agriculturalist that spares few expletives. Bold Fisherman is more conventional; best of all is the hilarious Devil & The Feathery Wife, which - according to the concise and informative sleeve notes - they learned from Martin Carthy.

Colston's father Mark Colgan contributes a sturdy vocal on British Man O'War, followed by a rather less assured performance from Colston himself on Locksley Hall. Teph Kay offers the album's the only female voice on John Martyn's anti-war song Don't You Go, although her piercing soprano sounds a little jarring in this context.

Minor shortcomings aside, it's the novel instrumental textures that give Colston and Rose an edge over many of the current crop of folk hopefuls. Of course, Colston can't hold a candle to the likes of Indian santoor (dulcimer) maestro Shivkumar Sharma, but the way his crisp, melodic percussion interacts with Rose's pumping bellows is a delight throughout. --Jon Lusk

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A gem of a recording 9 April 2010
By Steve Mansfield VINE VOICE
Format:MP3 Download|Verified Purchase
Well who'd have thought that the unlikely combination of button accordeon and hammer dulcimer could have made such a varied and entertaining album?

I've known Saul Rose's excellent playing from his work with Eliza Carthy and latterly Faustus, but Maclaine Colston was a new name to me at least. For me the album is at its best on the instrumentals and in the instrumental sections - the tune set combining The Sweetness Of Mary and the Hollywell Hornpipe is a particular stand-out track, earthy and delicate by turns and with a real drive behind the rhythm.

The vocals are handled by a variety of singers with varying degrees of success, although none are actually bad in any way and my stylistic preferences are probably different to yours, meaning that we'll like different delivery styles and therefore different tracks. The opening track, however, sung with gusto by Saul himself, is another stand-out for me.

The actual sound of the recording is also worth mentioning - the aforementioned Sweetness of Mary track was actually recorded back in 1996 and has been cleaned up for this eventual release, but the whole album is noticeable for its open, organic ambience: the curse of over-aggressive compression, to supposedly give music more punch and brightness is notable by its absence, replaced instead by the far more aurally satisfying technique of getting the initial sound recording just right. I bought this as a download so don't have the sleevenotes to go from, but I'm guessing that either Ollie Knight was behind the desk, or if not him, someone with equally excellent ears.

It's a little bit unusual, it's fresh and unpretentious and lovingly played and beautifully recorded, and it brings a smile to my face every time I listen to it. I've had to be firm and knock off one star for some of the weaker vocal performances, but it's a cracking album overall.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great combination 18 Nov 2012
By Kate R
Format:MP3 Download
A really great pairing of instruments by two great folk musicians. Mostly a good combination of tunes and songs, just a couple are weak vocally. Wish I could see them live, take a look at some stuff on YouTube :)
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By P. Kay
Format:Audio CD
Stumbled across the first track of the album on the BBC folk awards 2010 cd, loved it and thought I'd investigate further.............. and what a find. A truly wonderful album, it has such a lovely 'feel' - the tunes and musicianship are superb and a sense of enjoyment pervades throughout, the vocals if not perfect fit perfectly and ain't half bad at all, in fact they make it feel even more spontaneous and what lovely diction! The production is splendidly well done and without any of the overproduction of many folk albums, such a delight to find the reverb so low - it just feels as it should. - as though these chaps are in the room with you and isn't the hammer dulcimer such a beautiful thing. I keep finding myself returning to this album and finding new delights the more I listen, with the standout tracks evolving each time - there are no weak ones that is for sure. Barbaree, Devil and the Feathery wife and Lazy Farmer get all the family swaying and the instrumentals are magnificent and moving. Buy.
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