Will Pound uses his solo debut, A Cut Above , to presents the harmonica as an instrument capable of carrying a album. His skills on the instrument have been praised by many and when listening to this album it is clear to see why.
He opens with a collection of three fast paced tunes, Soldier’s Joy/Floating Candle/The Dutchess, which immediately showcase his playing abilities as these tunes require a lot of quick thinking and would be challenging on any instrument never mind the harmonica. The clarity in which he plays this opening sequence is also worthy of note.
There are of course other instruments that are placed carefully around Will’s harmonica style, so we find in Morgan Rattler he is supported by a banjo, which fits very well. The inclusion of such folk luminaries as Martin Simpson, Kris Drever, Damien O’Kane, Andy Cutting and Tim Edey enhances the album but never detracts from the harmonica.
As well as some lesser-known tunes Will does give us a few great adaptations of classic tunes such as Amazing Grace and Dearest Dickie, which we may not be used to hearing on harmonica but he plays them very well and shows the full potential of his instrument. Some of the tunes are even borderline rock in their sound, such as with Old Joe Clark.
A thoroughly pleasant album to listen to, especially if you are unfamiliar with the harmonica as lead instrument.Paul Rawcliffe
Released on 28th October 2013 by Lulubug Records
1. Soldiers Joy/Floating Candle/The Dutchess
2. White Jock
3. Morgan Rattler
5. Michael Turners Waltz
6. Old Joe Clark
7. Mrs Saggs
8. Dearest Dickie
9. Amazing Grace
10. 93 Not Out
11. Clinch Mountain Backstep
12. A Cut Above/The Hesleyside Reel