Westward the Light are Charlie Grey (fiddle), Joseph Peach (piano), Sally Simpson (fiddle) and Owen Sinclair (guitar), one of the most sought-after and versatile bands on the Glasgow folk scene. Following on from the success of their first two albums, they recently released their third Flow Country, a varied and captivating collection of self-penned tunes inspired by the traditional music of their homeland.
The opening Rearrangement Reel immediately introduces the band’s warm sound, probably the most distinctive feature of their musicianship. The album alternates between sparkling sets of lively tunes like the strathspey and reel medley Neil Gow’s Style and the serene C Jig to more meditative passages such as the lyrical title track or the poetic Braes of Rannoch that closes the album.
Grey’s sensitive touch, Simpson’s virtuoso playing, Sinclair’s ability to both accompany and extoll the quality of the tunes and Peach’s juxtaposed and dainty piano contribution team up to forge something deeply personal and recognisable. In these soaring tunes there is both the proof the band has, despite the young age of its members, reached full artistic maturity and the promise of many years of great live gigs to come.
Intense and engaging, Flow Country will surely be a firm favourite for the quartet’s long-term aficionados, but it will also help attract new fans around the world.Michele Mele
Released on CD and digitally on 31 March 2023
1. The Rearrangement Reel
2. Flow Country
3. Neil Gow’s Style
5. Good Days
6. The Dornoch Links
7. Castle Coeffin
8. C Jig
9. The Braes of Rannoch