CD Review: From The Roots
From The Roots, Andrews Massey Duo
IN A NUTSHELL
Critic Edward Hamer finds powerful nostalgia in this folky collection
My parents were appalled when they found out that my primary school didn't teach us folk songs.
Their generation took in traditional English music with their mothers' milk and considered it a basic ingredient of a sound education.
To me, the musical past is a foreign country.
A happy consequence is that recordings like this give me the absurd pleasure of new discovery, as well as the natural enjoyment of hearing excellent musicians at work.
Who knew that Bold Grenadier was so mournful, or that Blow the Wind Southerly could sum up every seaside holiday memory at once?
Wayfaring Stranger stands out especially, offering a spaciousness and a rhythmical complexity that could be overblown if it wasn't performed with such effortlessness.
The quality of the mixing gives each plucked string the clarity of a pebble dropping into still water, but there are no silly effects or massed strings to make things glutinous or trite.
This is simply a very fine recording of some songs that we really should all know, and as good an invitation as you are likely to find to make up for lost time.
Go to andrewsmasseyduo.com.