Reviews

The Rheingans SistersThe Rheingans Sisters
Album: Already Home
Label: RootBeat
Tracks: 12
Website: http://www.rheinganssisters.co.uk

This, the second offering from the Rheingans sisters is a diverse exploration of their many musical interests and talents, from self-penned songs and tunes to traditional repertoire from England, France and Sweden.

I first encountered Anna's playing at a fiddle competition we were both competing in. Neither of us won but her distinctive style, unusual tunes and crystal clear tone were all compelling in performance. This impressive musicality is equally matched by her sister Rowan, of Lady Maisery and the recent collaboration, Songs of Separation.

Throughout the album, the harmonies between the instruments weave in and out in a very organic way, the "inherent understanding and communication that siblings have when playing and singing together" to quote Jo Freya. This is particularly noticeable in the opening two Bourées, with their solid rhythmic impetus and singing melody. As well as being highly accomplished instrumentalists, both Anna and Rowan are beautiful singers and some of the songs are mesmerising. Rowan's own song, Mackerel is particularly beautiful and incredibly emotional. Written after a fellow musician died in a tragic accident, it is incredibly poignant and tender. The final track, Keep the Whole Thing Turning is also a highlight, with uplifting lyrics and enjoyable arrangement.

Not to be outdone, Anna's original offerings, Slängspolska Pour Une Auvergnate and Mazurka Éthiopienne are both strong compositions and showcase the instrumental talents of the siblings brilliantly.

Overall, this is a well presented and well produced album with a very diverse set of influences. It is refreshing that they are unwilling to be confined to one "tradition" and are obviously enjoying their musical journeys, both separately and together.

Nicky Grant