Review Archive

‘Crystal Ball Re-Mastered’ from Sandwitch - blending old themes and new

(September 23, 2013)

Time has a relentless habit of getting away from you, changing everything in the process – then again, Sand Witchsometimes when you meet old friends the intervening years fade away and it seems as though nothing changes. At the recent Folkstock Festival I finally caught up with Buddy Freebury and Andrea Hallier from Sandwitch, and the years flew away to the first time I heard their music. They have recently engaged in some changes of their own and remixed and remastered their 2004 album ‘Crystal Ball’ and along the way remodelled some of the songs while moving others into a different key. The result is ‘Crystal Ball Re-Mastered’.

The remix retains all that you would expect from Sandwitch - taking the richness of tradition, blending old themes and new, then leading the songs down fresh and different trails. Naturally, there’s still Buddy’s multi-instrumentalist skills and Andrea’s lush, haunting and sumptuous vocals but the remix gives a more layered and rounded edge to the sound.

Sandwitch blend innovation and variation into the depths of tradition to deliver a broad richness that makes their music so accessible. From the gentle ‘Dingle Regatta/the Mulberry Bush’ and their poignant take on ‘Fotheringay’ through the self-penned ‘Legend of Devil’s Bridge’ to Andrea’s song in remembrance of her father ‘Where are you Going’ and the highly emotive ‘We Miss You When We’re Gone’ this re-recording remains pure Sandwitch. The second half of the album continues a story Buddy wrote many years ago and includes the sparkling instrumental ‘King of the Fairies’, the lovingly crafted melodies of ‘Crystal Ball’ and of course ‘The Sand Witch’.

On ‘Crystal Ball Re-Mastered’ Buddy Freebury plays flute, piccolo, mandolin, electric guitar, bass guitar, percussion and provides vocals, while Andrea Hallier again delivers vocals plus 6 and 12 string acoustic guitars and Celtic harp.

Find Sandwitch and ‘Crystal Ball Re-Mastered’ here: sandwitch.bandcamp.com/crystal-ball-re-mastered.

Reviewer: Tim Carroll

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