‘For The Many’ from Wingin' It - startlingly original, crisp and vibrant(May 25, 2013)
There’s always a slight feeling of trepidation when I receive press releases for ‘guitar duo’ albums - often average, sometimes good, occasionally great - but how far can you go with two guitars? The answer here is some considerable distance and in one leap my unease about reviewing ‘guitar duo’ albums has vanished. The new album ‘For The Many’ from Wingin’ It is a startlingly original, crisp and vibrant piece of work that’s awash with invention and innovation.
Wingin’ It are Adam Bulley (guitars, mandolin, vocals) and Chas MacKenzie (guitars, bass, vocals) – their dexterity with the strings is superlative, their musical proficiency dazzling and their candour to range across the expanses of their art enthralling. The album embraces influences from folk, jazz, bluegrass, gypsy and anywhere else their fervent musical imaginations take them, from echoing sound effects through their sparkling playing.
The opener, ‘State of Mind’ reflects New York’s troubles and recovery – complete with seriously effective sound bites, violin and brass inserts. From there you’re straight into the otherworldly pulse of ‘Mariner 9’ once again with the added impact of eerie sound loops. This album is lush with conjured images and sound journeys that encourage you to travel with them. The suite of tunes that form ‘Lament For Gordon’ are deliciously moving - Gordon Duncan was a skilled and innovative exponent of highland piping – and these expressive, imaginative and intensely potent tunes reflect the man and his presence.
As for my feelings about guitar duo albums? How does that lyric go? I’m a believer.
To be fair and utterly truthful there are more than ‘two guitars’ on ‘For The Many’ - Adam and Chas are joined by Ross Ainslie (whistle) Ruaridh Campbell (violin) Alyn Cosker (drums) Fraser Fifield (saxophone, whistle) Angus Lyon (Fender Rhodes) Calum McIntyre (percussion) Toby Shippey (trumpet) and Carrie Thomas (violin).
Reviewer: Dan Holland