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Rosie Carson & Kevin DempseyRosie Carson & Kevin Dempsey
Album: Nightbirds
Label: Haystack
Tracks: 10

It's been nearly six years since Rosie and Kevin's sophomore album, "Between The Distance", but it's not so much been 'difficult' third album syndrome, more a difficulty of overcoming geography, Rosie is based in the US whilst Kevin resides in England, and finding time between the other projects that good musicians and singers tend to get drawn into. Fortunately time was found and "Nightbirds", the triumphal result.

"Nightbirds" is a healthy mix of traditional songs, arranged by the duo and a series of contemporary covers from along the acoustic spectrum of which the sign out track "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow", is not only the best known, but one that really shows what can be done with a cover version if you try and make it your own rather than simply re-record the original, stunning.

As the title suggests this is the album of a duo that are really comfortable in each other's presence and who feel like they've been happy to experiment with songs and sounds over red wine, proper coffee and noodling around with ideas into the early hours. It's an album that feels relaxed, loose and easy even and yet it doesn't seem that there's a note out of place along its length.

It's been said, many a time, that the art of a real master/mistress of their craft is to make it all appear effortless and this is an album that on first listening fools you with that deceptive simplicity, listen to the guitar and fiddle work closely, regardless of whether they are playing lead or supporting the vocals and you realise just what control there is in both playing and arranging, but ultimately you know you would rather sit back and enjoy the aural treat you're getting rather than waste time analysing it. "Nightbirds" is a great album, with absolutely nothing to prove.

Neil King

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