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CHRIS & KELLIE WHILE Indigo FatCat FATCD032


Chris was for close on five years one of the voices of the Albion Band, since leaving which she’s formed one half of a consistently award-winning duo with Julie Matthews. Though an ace songwriter in her own right, here on Indigo she chooses instead to humbly yet passionately showcase the work of other favourite songwriters (including friends and songwriting heroes) in an intimate, one might say homespun setting, in the company of her talented daughter. Kellie, of course, was then Chris’s natural replacement in the Albion Band (within whose ranks she too served five years), but since then she’s fol- lowed a career in radio production and keeps in hand only a select few musical projects – including collaborations with her mother, which she particularly enjoys.


Indigo is the Whiles’ third teaming on CD, and if anything it’s even more compelling than its predecessors (including the exceed- ingly fine Too Few Songs, which came out in 2007). Both mother and daughter’s level of vocal accomplishment is intensely natural; their phrasing, shading and intuitive har- monies are miraculously closely matched, with the result that their two voices can seem to all intents and purposes not only insepara- ble but also indistinguishable, and the effect is often seriously goosebump-inducing. Theirs is an immaculate perfection, to be sure, but not one of the soulless auto-pilot kind. The ladies’ gorgeous voices are unassumingly sup- ported by their own perfectly-judged, mini- mal yet rich-sounding instrumental settings (Kellie on guitar; Chris on guitar, banjo, lap steel, bodhrán and percussion).


The choice of material is peerless too, with standout renditions of Richard Shindell’s Wisteria, Karine Polwart’s Waterlily, Gillian Welch’s Orphan Girl and the Lipscomb/Duffy country classic She Thinks I Still Care (to name but four) alongside a keen arrangement of the traditional ballad Captain Glenn and songs by (among others) David Francey, Jimmy Webb and Kim Richey. The album’s lovely title track is a relatively recent compo- sition by Australian songwriter Michael Kennedy, who tragically died in 2013 (and to whose memorial album Hearth Chris had her- self recently contributed a more fully-scored rendition of the song).


This latest mother-and-daughter collec- tion is a truly magnificent example of straightforward, honest fine singing and fine interpretation; its only enigmatic aspect is the inkblot test that pervades the digipack design. www.chrisandkelliewhile.co.uk


David Kidman


THE UKULELE UFF & LONESOME DAVE TRIO


The Ukulele Uff & Lonesome Dave Trio Own label


The ukulele is an instrument that’s endured successive waves of image problems, various- ly derided as an anachronism, a children’s toy or (horror of horrors) a hipster accessory.


The Ukulele Uff & Lonesome Dave Trio – Chris ‘Ukulele’ Uff on ukulele, ‘Lonesome’ Dave Searson on guitar and ‘Brother’ Bill Leach on Hawaiian guitar, perform the authentic ukulele repertoire of 1920s/ ’30s jazz, Tin Pan Alley songs and traditional Hawaiian music with huge conviction and enormous skill.


Standards like Crazy Words, Crazy Tune, Sweet Georgia Brown, Yes Sir, That’s My Baby and Happy Days Are Here Again fairly sizzle with refreshing originality, and the group’s Liverpool folk roots are manifest in “that dirty, robbing, no-good” Maggie May.


John Philip Sousa’s Stars And Stripes For-


ever (1897) and Samuel Kapu’s Maui No Ka’ Oi (1870 ) demonstrate both their willingness to track back along the musical pathways and their facility for inventive arrangements, while the earliest piece – the concluding Melody In F by Albert Rubenstein, provides a solo showcase for Uff’s virtuosity.


With a style located somewhere between


The Temperance Seven and R Crumb’s Cheap Suit Serenaders, this joyous string band swing like the proverbial hairy clappers and are guaranteed to gladden the hearts of all but the most dedicated of miserable begrudgers. Vo do de o, vo doe doe de o, doe!


www.ukuleleufftrio.co.uk Steve Hunt AMARATERRA


Tradizioni: Traditional Songs From Salento Own label


Yes, that’s right – no number, no label and just a slip case with very little information. It lasts around a half an hour and might be regarded as a demo to get gigs for the band except that the sleeve carries no contact details. So why is this slight offering being accorded a full review? Well, the reason is the outstanding quality that each of the six tracks shouts at the listener. This is rough-edged pizzica/tarantella from the Salento area of south-west Italy, south of Naples, and every beat of the music drips with excitement and commitment.


Their website is rather more helpful. Formed in 2011, the nine-piece band of singers, dancers and musicians is mainly from the Salento area but are now based in the Crouch End area of North London. The short descriptive piece on the website seems to sum them up well, especially where it describes them as “…adapting its style of music to the vibrant and cosmopolitan world music scene without weakening the links to its traditional musical canon”.


If they were Irish, they would be nearer to Shane MacGowan than Len Graham.


The only events listed for them currently on their website are their monthly bashes at the Jamboree in Limehouse. The enthusiasm for Amaraterra expressed by Jamie Renton in fR385 back in July can only be echoed here with the hope that this exhilarating unit reaches a wider audience,


http://amaraterra.co.uk Vic Smith Amaraterra EIS TEN POLIN


Wild Flowers Of Anatolia Voice Of Shade 8 699197 600043


An exhilarating and astonishing album from singer, British-born Istanbul-based Nikolai Galen (whom fRoots readers may know bet- ter as sometime scribe and music promoter Nick Hobbs) and Murat Ertel, electric saz mas- ter from Turkey’s Baba Zula. Drummer Gökçe Gürçay completes the trio: a 21st Century avant-psych English language Turkish folk- rock trio would be a reductionist (and unwieldy!) label, but worthwhile if it piques interest in this extraordinary sui-generis music making.


The music inhabits, and traverses beyond, a zone that includes Baba Zula, Beef- heart, Turkish bozlak singing, Julie Tippett’s vocal improv, all within a variety of interest- ing and accessible song and rhythmic struc- tures. This double CD album marries the seductive mysteries of the electric saz – melody hooks and ornamentation, through to electrifying riffs both heavy and funky at times – and Nick’s vocals which carry the songs’ verses and melody, and also run to whispers, whistles, growls and declamations. As for those verses (all in English, and inspired by Turkey: land, people, buildings, society, systems, events, nature), a humane and politically engaged voice emerges, non- dogmatic, impassioned. A beautifully pre- sented album, with paintings by Emir Uras, a


knowing correspondence to Ayşenur Koli- var’s Honeysuckle For The Garden release.


The Anatolian blues have never been heard like this before, an unmissable and important release, I reckon.


www.voiceofshade.net Chris Potts SERENATA GUAYANESA


Canta Con Venezuela Smithsonian Folkways SFW CD 40566


Venezuelan traditional music is often over- shadowed by that of neighboring Colombia and Brazil, and what we know of its string band music genres owesmuch to the work of Serenata Guayanesa, the folk ensemble founded in 1971 in Ciudad Bolívar, situated in the southeast on the Orinoco River, and the country’s first post-independence capital.


Serenata Guayanesa traces its inspira- tion to the 1960s traditional group Quinteto Contrapunto led by Rafael Suárez, whose own Isla Margarita roots reflected the diver-


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