Keith Kenniff is back again with his Goldmund moniker (the 2010 album 'Famous
Places' was his beautiful last stop at this particular station) with a new
collection of fourteen short instrumental pieces reflecting his immersion in
the subject of the American Civil War. These reinterpretations of traditional
songs reflecting the period transcend the current wave of nostalgic folksy
Americana by a country mile and a half. Pure, wistful and elegiac, his vision
is realised with little more than an acoustic guitar and piano, in simple
stripped-down arrangements which reach deep into the heart of each familiar
melody with affection and an innately uncorrupted understanding of their worth.
Of particular note are his renditions of 'Ashokan Farewell', a sublime Irish
air preformed with an affecting sense of profound pathos; the dreamily rippling
'Shenandoah', with its sparkling piano accompaniment; the unadorned simplicity
and blissfully rapt take on 'The Yellow Rose Of Texas' (surely one of the
loveliest tunes ever imagined) and the heart-wrenching transcription of 'Johnny
Has Gone For A Soldier', a song which still bleeds with contemporary relevance.
Mr Kenniff is a true master of economy and gentle vision. Delightful.