Fiddler James Delarre and melodeon player Saul Rose met at Sidmouth Folk Festival in 2007. Their immediate friendship developed into a musical collaboration of which 2014’s Cabin Fever was the first result. After nine years, they are back with Kith and Kin, their second studio album, recorded in various phases in the space of seven years.
Saturday Night, a nice traditional jig, opens the album, showcasing the smooth interplay between the two artists; it is followed by Caribouf / The Reel of Lies, a foot-tapping set of reels, possibly the most lively track on the album. Out with My Dog in the Morning is the first song on the tracklist, paired with The Gallant Hussar, another traditional tune. Then the duo proceeds into the longest of the nine tracks, the international flavoured Snorflinga / Ffoles Llantrisant / The Fubu Mazurka.
The airy pair of jigs Eva’s Jig / The Rose is a perfect bridge to the second half of the release. It’s followed by the brisk Scandinavian-influenced Christine and by the evergreen Just as the Tide Was Flowing, the second and last song on this album. Another set of jigs, namely Saraband / Flaxley Green, and the short and airy Hey Diddle Diss bring the duo’s effort to a close in style.
The fact these two musicians are not only partners in art, but also friends, is evident throughout their work; the mutual understanding displayed on all these tracks can only come with a crystal clear talent and a great number of hours spent playing together. The music they make is not only about excitement, it’s about communication and craft. Both contribute equally to every single track, alternating in taking the lead, but always providing a free-flowing dialogue with each other.
Kith and Kin is good news for every folk music fan, we just hope their next album will not take another nine years.
Self-released on CD and digitally November 27 2023. Produced by James Delarre and Saul Rose, recorded by Saul Rose at Linnburn Tower Studio and by Kevin Duncan at Ginger Dog
1. Saturday Night
2. Caribouf / The Reel of Lies
3. Out With my Dog in the Morning / The Gallant Hussar
4. Snorflinga / Ffoles Llantrisant / The Fubu Mazurka
5. Eva’s Jig / The Rose
7. Just as the Tide Was Flowing
8. Saraband / Flaxley Green
9. Hey Diddle Diss