This recently released debut album from Denver sibling duo – Joanna and Iain Hyde – who have mastered the art of Irish music, and entwined it with a dash of Americana and bluegrass, is a fabulous album! They have already won 2 accolades this year – Best New Group 2017 from Liveireland and Best New Group from Chicago Irish American News! Iain is a multi-instrumentalist in his own right and extremely versatile. Joanna was selected from 10 pupils across the US to receive the prestigious Jack Kent Foundation’s Graduate Arts Award in 2011 whereupon she moved to Ireland to study Irish traditional music and achieved a MA in Irish Trad Music Performance. Not a bad start. After travelling around Colorado and Ireland, they have brought together an interesting fusion of various roots music and crafted it into Green & Blue.
Ten tracks for your delectation kicks off with a fiddle led Irish tune – ‘Along The Saint Vrain’ which sets the scene slowly then bursts into different tempos from mid track. Lovely guitar and rhythm. Very nice.
The title track – ‘Green and Blue’ – features the lovely melodic vocals of Joanne with Iain harmonising and was written as a collaboration between them. ‘Lands End’ is a traditional arrangement and back to fiddle and bodhran. Catchy little number! ‘Sweet Bride’ originally by Kate Rusby, gives beautiful harmonies and incorporates a lovely melodic haunting tune from the piano to compliment the voices.
Karine Polwart’s ‘Rivers Run’ – comprises of all strings and Joanne’s melodic voice. Next up ‘The Milky Way’ – a traditional collection of five tunes flowing into each other and incorporating all strings, piano accordion and bodhran. ‘Muddy Water’ – a creation of fine singer/songwriter – Boo Hewerdine, features Joanne on lead vocals with Iain harmonising. Nice mandolin on this track too.
‘Finn, On a Lark’ featuring fiddle, mandolin and bass is a lovely, rich mournful tune, with superb mandolin and fiddle. The penultimate track – ‘Coopers’ – is uptempo, catchy and uplifting. I felt myself tapping my feet with gusto!
The album ends with Sam Cooke’s ‘Nothing Can Change This Love’ which features Joanne on vocals and is a very bluesy/jazzy arrangement. Very different from the rest of the album, but nevertheless, a beautiful arrangement.
I really like this album, a cracking debut album, and one that deserves to be listened to as they have studied hard with their music, and it shows.
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Artists’ website: www.hydesmusic.com
‘Rivers Run’ – official video: