For years, I imagine Caridwen and Greg Spatz have heard people say, “You should do an album together.” Now they have, and it’s glorious. Few duos could have recorded a collection of such range and mastery, one that melds Irish, Swing, French, Scottish, Klezmer, and English ballads; and yes, they write tunes and songs, as well, that stand up with the best of these genres.
I’m gushing, but then I was one among many who were anticipating this release. This is not something they did just to have one more item for sale at the record table. It’s a work of love, dedication, craft and inspiration. The care that went into the sound, production, and packaging are indicative of how Caridwen and Greg approach their art(s)—with thoroughness, exactness, and just the right dash of serendipity.
Caridwen is a wonderful singer and fiddler with great tone and expression on both voice and strings. She’s also a luthier and built the fiddle she plays here. In the bluegrass world, Greg is best known as the fiddler for John Reischman & The Jaybirds, but he’s also put out his own albums, as well as several works of fiction well worth your attention. They’ve added banjo and bouzouki, respectively, here too.
Irish music aficionados will recognize “Farewell To Ireland,” “Rolling Waves,” and “Paddy Fahey,” all placed in sets with original tunes or songs that give them new significance. My favorites are an original tune by Caridwen, “The Day Of The Wren,” and Greg’s “The Lost Road Home,” both of which should become standards. Though this is an “on the edge” recording in relation to bluegrass, it’s currently the center of my listening world and getting heavy rotation. (caridwenandgregspatz.hearnow.com)CVS