ROSIE CARSON & KEVIN DEMPSEY – The Salty Diamond (Own Label)

I was first introduced to Kevin Dempsey many years ago at the Hedgehog Pie festival in Newcastle (possibly 1976!) and I particularly remember his impressive guitar technique crossing jazz with folk. Of course, this was innovative at the time and I’m pleased to say he’s lost none of that technique which works as the perfect foil for his twinning with the teenage Stateside based fiddler/vocalist Rosie Carson. Now this is my kind of album, one that utilises songs I remember from my own ‘folk music’ upbringing. The duo’s repertoire includes classic songs such as the trials and tribulations Gospel tinged “I Am A Poor Wayfaring Stranger”, “Silver Dagger” and Richard Thompson’s “Waltzing’s For Dreamers” respectfully treated with a laid back country feel featuring Kevin on lead vocals. The instrumental sets likewise are from a vintage that I still cherish with enjoyable interpretations of “The Rolling Waves/Morrison’s Jig”, “Paddy Fahey’s/The Butterfly” and “Julia Delaney’s/Larry Redican’s” amongst them. Carson and Dempsey blend well together tonally and although this recording may not be seen by many as wildly innovative there are certainly many high points to raise it above albums of a similar disposition. Here’s looking forward to the next one!

PETE FYFE

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Artists web link: http://www.kevindempsey.co.uk/