Lisa Winship & Andy Mathewson
Album: Vintage Acoustic Music…
Label: Self Released
Tracks: 6

This is a recently-convened musical partnership but a distinctly serendipitous one. Lisa, already known as a gifted pianist and songwriter, is also much in demand as a vocalist, while Andy's a significantly accomplished acoustic guitarist on the scene around Reading. Lisa and Andy may be more than a generation apart in terms of age, but they share a love of a wide range of music both vintage and contemporary.

It helps that Lisa's outstanding vocal talent can readily encompass this range of influences and styles, from blues, country-blues and gospel to contemporary songwriters, ballads, standards and originals.

Andy's proven abilities as a fingerstyle blues and ragtime guitarist are brilliantly matched to Lisa's singing too, as the six tracks on this taster EP prove beyond a shadow of doubt. The marvellous - and refreshingly musical - intricacy of Andy's playing is abundantly clear, and cleanly recorded, at every turn, while Lisa's voice steers an unerringly confident and spontaneously decorated path through the various musical byways (with a certain amount of judicious multitracking at some points). Particularly impressive is her take on Memphis Slim's commentary Mother Earth; I also liked Andy's reassuring portrayal of the redemptive power of music, Talking To Billie Holiday, and Lisa also makes a good fist of John Sebastian's wry My Passing Fantasy. Lisa's own co-write with Andy, (You're My) Journey's End, is a pleasing number with the feel of classic early-60s country-pop of the Everlys era.

This impressive little collection is such a rewarding experience for the listener that it immediately begs the question of when the duo will get the time to record a full-length set: the sooner the better as far as I'm concerned.

David Kidman