ALDEN, PATTERSON AND DASHWOOD – Call Me Home (own label)

Call Me HomeWorking out of Norwich, the trio (Christine, Alex and Noel, respectively) are already rightly being showered with praise for their debut album, Call Me Home, with its stripped down Americana etched on mandolin, violin, dobro and guitar.

It’s clear from the assurance on display that they’ve not come to this without experience and, while the bio and website offer no background, a little digging reveals they’ve individually played in three other Norwich acoustic outfits, The Woodland Creatures (Christine), Murphy’s Lore (Alex) and Dumbfoundus (Noel) and have, as such, gigged extensively around the local scene as well as recording This, though, is their first time working together and it’s definitely a fruitful union, marring folk influences from both sides of the Atlantic.

Mostly original material and primarily sung by Christina, the title track gets the ball rolling in liltingly tumbling Appalachian crystal waters mood, her yearning pure vocals beautifully complemented by Noel’s rippling Dobro and Alex’s aching violin. This is followed by two of the three traditional tunes, firstly a gently lullabying ‘Sweet and Low’ and then ‘The Riddle Song,’ the 15th century English folk song also known as ‘I Gave My Love A Cherry’ that was transported to the Appalachians by settlers, here shading into the instrumental coda of ‘Bina’s Jig’.

Returning to the self-penned, ‘By The Sea’ is a midtempo shuffle with some neat mandolin by Patterson picking over Dashwood’s Dobro, the aquatic theme flowing over into both the appropriately rippling rhythms of ‘Water Song’, a bittersweet lyric that offsets the imagery of cleansing with the note that boats don’t always return to land, and the more bluegrassy ‘Ferryman’s Court’, which, Noel taking lead, is an upbeat, strummed homage to the Broads and happy thoughts of living next to water, even if “The swans are beautiful, yet slightly aggressive.”

Handing the vocal baton back to Christina, ‘The Moon Song’ has her calling to mind Lesley Duncan as her breathy vocals swirl around the dobro and fiddle, the last of the original numbers coming with the brief instrumental ‘The Old Priory’ before closing up shop with a lively reading of the traditional North Carolina mountain music folk tune, ‘Mole In The Ground’, the familiar banjo setting replaced here by dobro, fiddle and guitar. All served up in Alden’s handprinted card sleeve artwork , this is a real delight and hopefully the first of many more to follow.

Mike Davies

Artists’ website:

‘Call Me Home’: