Bruce & Walker,
Born to Rottenrow
(Greentrax, 2014)

Ian Bruce and Ian Walker have performed individually for years, but on joining to produce this combination of a CD and DVD, they prove that together they are greater than the sum of their parts.

Many of the songs on offer on Born to Rottenrow are new and as such can be more difficult for a reviewer to engage with, but there is no such problem here. Although "I Stand Tall," the first track, has a very unusual opening, it soon draws the listener in with its wonderful rhythm and lyrics allied to some the most "listenable" voices on offer today.

The style of this CD is impossible to pin down. Every track confounds your earlier categorization. "Miss Salfka Sings" has a wonderfully light jazz sound. "The Shawl" is a wonderfully evocative piece of writing from their combined pens married to a lovely quiet performance that will stay with you long after your first hearing. Similarly, "Ode to an Old Friend" will tug at your heartstrings without it being a maudlin offering. The fiddle riff will haunt your waking hours.

No listener with children or grandchildren should miss "Lucie's Song," another song that paints mind pictures shaded by our own particular memories. They take on a country lilt on the track "This Road" and again paint us a lovely word picture. This leads on to my favourite track on the album, which is great, upbeat "Honest Man" that will defy your feet not to tap. But do not be distracted from the lyrics by the great music.

Coincidentally I reviewed this album on Feb. 14, so the track "Old Love" took on a lovely and special meaning, but it would be beautiful at any time; again the fiddle playing adds greatly to the loving atmosphere.

Add to the dozen tracks on the CD a further offering of 15 different songs on the live DVD and you find excellent value on offer here.

music review by
Nicky Rossiter

1 March 2014

Agree? Disagree?
Send us your opinions!

what's new