Sparks were always going to fly when master musicians Will Pound and Eddy Jay decided to form a duo.
The fusing of awesome accordion player Jay with the much feted skills of Pound (“one of the world’s greatest harmonica players” – Daily Telegraph) is a dynamite combination.
Ignite, the duo’s debut CD, is a fast-paced 11-track feel-good album guaranteed to make the gloomiest day a whole lot brighter. From its pyrotechnic packaging to the final arresting notes of the closing track’s Balkan dance it is on an upward trajectory.
Three times nominated for BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Musician of the Year (2012, 2014 and 2015), Pound won the same title in the 2015 Spiral Earth Awards and was named Instrumentalist of the Year in 2013 and 2014 by FATEA Magazine.
Undoubtedly one of the finest harmonica players of his generation his inventive style always pushes the boundaries as seen in his former duos Walsh and Pound and Haddo and the four piece Will Pound Band. In 2012 he memorably played the harmonica intro on the Guy Chambers-produced Hillsborough charity single ‘He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother’ which became the Christmas No 1.
Jay meanwhile is a virtuoso accordionist who can make his instrument sound more like an orchestra! A former member of Newfolks with Mabon fiddler Oli Wilson-Dickson, his eclectic arrangements have seen him journey into theatre including the hit stage musical version of Noel Coward’s Brief Encounter which toured Broadway venues. He has also performed with Irish singer songwriter Cathal Coughlan and UK jazz singer Tina May, devised his own version of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf and an Edith Piaf tribute show Piaf The Songs which toured the UK and beyond.
This potent partnership owes a lot to instinct, improvisation and alchemy, with Pound and Jay forging a path to new folk sounds – harmonica and accordion gelling almost as one instrument.
Romping across reels, bluegrass, swing, polkas and rachenitsas, the duo’s exuberant arrangements of traditional tunes cannot fail to impress. A dazzling display of virtuosity performed with power and precision, Ignite ducks and dives and pulls no punches.
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‘Floating Candle’ from the album Ignite: