‘Right At Home’ - Alistair Anderson & Dan Walsh - incredible talents across a musical concoction(September 13, 2017)
The phrase ‘... needs to introduction’ is in this instance wholly appropriate because Alistair Anderson and Dan Walsh need no introduction from me ... they are an integral part of folk music. Their work as a duo certainly spans the years with some five decades of folk music from one and a blistering arrival from the other. In many ways this pairing was simply waiting to happen ... two incredible talents combining to coalesce, conjoin, duel and spar across a musical concoction that takes influence and essence from bluegrass to ballads, folk and jazz to old time. The album ‘Right At Home’ - Live At Mount Hooley, evidences how damn good they are together.
The mix opens with a bluegrass standard ‘Roll in My Sweet Baby’s Arms’, moves into a strathspey linked to an Anderson original ‘Johnny Cope/ Cold Snap’, the little known Saw Doctor’s song ‘At Least Pretend’, the American traditional ‘Good Morning Mr Railroad Man’ and a sharp rendition of ‘Shady Grove’. There’s a tangible magic coming from the interplay between these two, a closeness of understanding that reaches out to the listener, an intimacy augmented by the inclusion of live audience reaction in the recording. Other gems include the enthusiastic pace to ‘Geld Him Lasses, Geld Him/ Risty Galley’, the perennial warmth of ‘Ivaldo Mendoca’s Welcome to Alnwick/ The Big Dance Reel’ and the ‘night visiting’ or ‘leaving home’ ballad ‘When a Man’s in Love’, and to finish Anderson’s poignant ‘The Road to the North’ with Anderson and Walsh tearing up ‘Lasses Pass the Brandy’.
Performing on ‘Right At Home’ - Live At Mount Hooley are Alistair Anderson (English concertina, Northumbrian pipes) and Dan Walsh (banjo, guitar, vocals)
Review: Tim Carroll