JACQUELYN HYNES- Silver And Wood (Hobgoblin Records HOBCD1015)

Silver_WoodAlthough credited solely to Jacquelyn, Silver And Wood is very much an ensemble record, featuring nine other musicians, principally J Eoin, Eoin O’Neill and Quentin Cooper.

A blind listening would suggest a young Irish band with J Eoin and Allison Sleator taking lead vocals alongside Jacquelyn but you’d be quite wrong. Jacquelyn is a vastly experienced composer and musician in the theatrical world as well as teacher of her principal instrument, the flute, both metal and wooden hence the title of what is, remarkably, her debut album.

There is a mixture of well-known Irish tunes like ‘Her Mantle So Green’ and ‘Red Haired Lass’, original compositions like the mesmerising ‘Gini’s Tune’ and some very individual interpretations and adaptations. The first of these is ‘The Cuckoo’, constructed from an 18th century harpsichord piece, Clarence Ashley’s banjo interpretation and the familiar traditional song. It’s possibly the nicest version I’ve heard. Next comes a long version of ‘She Moved Through The Fair’, centred around a flute improvisation and finally comes ‘Greensleeves’. I confess that I winced when I saw it in the track listing – naff or what – but Jacquelyn has written some words that have more to do with Irish mythology than seduction at Hampton Court. There’s a bit of W B Yeats in it, too.

Silver And Wood is a beautiful album with enough jolly tunes to keep your attention should you feel like drifting off on a warm afternoon – it will help you do that, too.

Dai Jeffries

Artist’s website: http://www.jacquelynhynes.com/

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