The Hydes – Green & Blue (2016)

Posted by on July 28, 2016as

cover320 kbps | 104 MB | UL |

Think of the wedding tradition of “Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue” and apply it to the debut disc of brother and sister duo Iain and Joanna Hyde and you’ve got a winner.

Iain, mild-mannered State of Colorado bureaucrat by day and wicked guitar and mandolin player by night and Joanna, graduate of Colorado College and the University of Limerick, fine fiddle player and accomplished singer have produced an album with elements of the old, new, borrowed and blue that’s a joy to listen to. The old is in some traditional Irish music – jigs and reels – The Milky Way, Piper’s Chair, Coen’s Memories and Crotty’s Glory; the new in original songs with an old-timey feel – Iain’s “Along the Saint Vrain” with a nice bluegrass/Americana sound and his bluegrass “Cooper’s” with a fun jazzy progression under melody and the title track “Green and Blue” and “Finn, on a Lark” (a bit of swing with jazz accents), both written by Iain and Joanna. The borrowed features songs by Hot Rize’ Tim O’Brien (“Land’s End/On the Road from Glen to Carrick”), England’s Kate Rusby (“Sweet Bride”) and Boo Hewerdine (“Muddy Water”) and Scotland’s Karine Polwart (“Rivers Run”). And finally, the blue is Sam Cooke’s “Nothing Can Change This Love”. Another way of looking at the creative mix of songs is the referential title with plenty of Green (Irish) music closed out with a Blue(s) song from the American tradition.Joanna’s lead/harmony vocals on “Sweet Bride” capture the poignant air of Rusby’s new/old folk song and Iain’s guitar and mandolin playing throughout the album is brilliant. Hearing the work of Polwart and Hewerdine is a rare treat, especially when so well and lovingly rendered by the Hydes and their friends.

Ably supported by an international cast of musicians that includes Lyons’ Eric Thorin on bass, flute player Christina Dolphin, bodhrán man Colm Phelan and pianist/accordion player (and former All-Ireland Champion) Tadgh Ó Meachair from Dublin and Alan Reid, finger-picking banjo player from County Leitrim, the Hydes new album would be a fine addition to the libraries of trad music lovers.

Review by Rodger Hara

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