Ireland Bridge Review (FolkWorld CD Reviews – by Alex Monaghan)

Becky Taylor “Ireland Bridge”
Label: Own Label; 10 tracks; 38 min
From the North of England, this young uilleann piper combines Irish music with aspects of English, Breton and other traditions. Her second album is aptly named. In a little under forty minutes, Becky Taylor stravagues through a musical landscape from Tyneside to Donegal. Francis Donnellan’s, Rattle the Cash and The Kilkenny Jig sit alongside her own compositions, which often have a slightly English feel. As well as the Irish pipes, Ms Taylor plays Northumbrian smallpipes, concertina, fiddle and whistles. She’s joined by several friends: Dave Wood, David Kosky and Paul Cowham on guitars, Leigh Stothard on drums, and Hugh Bradley on bass. For those who heard her debut CD, Ireland Bridge is a big step forward and presents Becky as a piper to be reckoned with.
The Gift mixes rustic modal melodies with the world music sound of Barely Works or Oyster Band numbers. Smallcoalpiper is a contemporary Northumberland showpiece, full of pops and stops, with a driving topline and a strong beat, finishing on the classic Small Coals. The air Mable strays across the Celtic rim, somewhere along an imaginary line between Callanish and Compostella. When It’s All Over is a little further West, halfway across that Ireland bridge; a pair of breakneck whistle reels a la Finnegan or McGoldrick. Track 6 is firmly on Irish soil, Carolan’s Captain Kane. The traditional jigs Red Haired Polly and Rattle the Cash keep us there, and The Lady’s Cup of Tea adds some very fine Irish piping. Becky’s style is open and uncomplicated, and the melody comes through strongly. The stately air River Rose leads into an impressive whistle solo. Can’t Help Smiling rounds off this recording with a medley of jigs, leaving no doubt as to Becky Taylor’s abilities: a fine command of her instrument, a repertoire as wide as these islands, and a gift for contemporary composition. Ireland Bridge is good solid pipering from start to finish, and should broaden the horizons of most traditional musicians.
Www.beckytaylor.info
Alex Monaghan

This review appeared on the FolkWorld webiste, Issue 36 published  July 2008 Folkworld CD Reviews

Аквариум I Борис Гребенщиков I БГ — White Horse — 2008

Album available to buy, listen and download at Kroogi

BG – guitar, vocals
Boris Rubekin – keyboards
Sasha Tivov – bass guitar
Igor Timofeev – guitar, flutes, saxophones and clarinet
Andrei Surotdinov – violins, viola
Alik Potapkin – drums
Oleg Shar – hand drums, darbuka, shakers, guiro

Djivan Gasparyan – duduk (3). Brian Finnegan – flutes (3, 5, 7, 12). Becky Taylor – uillean pipes (7, 12). Maria Pomyanowska – padudla (4). Alok Verma – tabla (2, 3, 7, 12). Manu Delago – hang drum (7). Alejandro Martinez – conga, shaker (10). John Joe Kelly – bodhran (12). Ric Sanders – fiddle (1, 2, 3, 11). Chris Leslie – mandolin (1, 5, 11). Clare Salaman – nyckelharpa, hurdy gurdy (1, 2, 11). Shamita Achenbach-Konig – cello (2, 6, 8, 10, 12). Pip Eastop – french horn, flugelhorn (9, 11). Erin Nolan – viola (6, 8, 10, 12). Nilasha Broughton – violin (6, 8, 10, 12). Dundubhi Dikel – violin (6, 8, 10, 12). Eddie Hession – accordion (10)

Contrabass – Aleksei Ivanov (2, 3, 4, 6). Cello – Nikolai Matveev (2, 3, 4, 6 ,9). Accordion – Evelina Petrova (2). Trombone – Evgenii Vasiliev and Boris Ivanov (2, 11). Tuba – Yanis Rushko (2, 11). Trumpet – Aleksei Popov(9)

Denis Rosov’s vocal quintet (9, 11): Denis Rosov – tenor, Alexandr Smirnov – profundo, Nikolai Agafonnikov – bariton, Alexandra Zhasminova – soprano, Maria Znakhur – alto.

Recorded in St.Petersburg and London (May – November, 2008): B. Rubekin – A. Dokshin (Studio 601, St. Petersburg), Jerry Boys (Livingston Studios, London). Mixed by Jerry Boys at The Livingston Studios.

All songs by BG
Drawings by Sri Chinmoi
Cover photo by Baldur Tryggvason

© 2008 BG