Review of HIGH SPIRITS by Rob Adams

G&T cover

Fiddler Gráinne Brady and pianist, flautist and whistle player Tina Jordan Rees met at a traditional music session in Glasgow in 2011 and this first full-length album suggests there was an instant rapport. They play together like siblings, possibly bonding on a shared immersion in Irish dance tunes and with a knack for writing new melodies in that idiom with a real spark of individuality and character. All the music here is their own and it showcases not just their instrumental prowess – Brady’s fiddling nimble, strong and expressive; Jordan Rees’s brightly percussive pianism being a particular asset – but also their talent for arrangement, ability to accompany each other and willingness to take ideas beyond traditional tune forms. The sequential 5/8s, Two Mad Cats and Week 15 are impressionistic and imaginative without losing touch with their roots and while guitar, double bass, bodhran and accordion are added here and there, the overall impression is of one mightily self-contained, superbly able duo.

From The Sunday Herald, October 4, 2015.

Review from gig @ Folklub, 12th Nov 2013

“What’s particularly striking about Gráinne & Tina’s all too short set, (marking the return of Glasgow’s marvellous Folklub) is the variety of material which, it transpires, is made up entirely of the duo’s own compositions. There’s an obvious love and respect for the tradition – and a stronger Scottish accent than might be expected from two musicians whose backgrounds are steeped in the Irish vernacular – but there are also surprises from this new duo whose imaginative arrangements come together in a vivacious caprice of musical energy. Joined on this occasion by Eamonn Nugent’s attentive bodhran accompaniment, Gráinne Brady’s direct and unpretentious fiddle style is complemented by Tina Jordan Rees’ sparklingly percussive keyboard, accentuating the players’ individuality yet giving off a sisterly air of familiarity that makes for a delightful pairing.”

© Seán Purser Nov 2013