Tarren are Alex Garden (fiddle, octave fiddle and viola), Sid Goldsmith (cittern, concertina and vocals) and Danny Pedler (accordion, hurdy-gurdy and backing vocals), a new Bristol-based trio of great names from the West Country folk scene. Their debut album Revel derives its name from the act of taking great pleasure and delight. A celebration of brotherhood and togetherness full of original tunes, but including some traditional songs and compositions.
As soon as the first notes of the opening track Hardwood unfold, one can immediately feel that it’s a tune written by Garden and that the musical connection among the members of the trio is tight and spontaneous. Most of the album is made up of lively and sometimes upbeat tracks such as Spring Polkas and Hornpipes, but there is room for a few meditative passages such as the traditional morris tune Orange in Bloom that closes the album in a contemplative mood.
Just like the instrumental tracks, the songs recorded for this album are dressed up in very personal arrangements; two of them are traditional, namely Searching for Lambs and Rigs of the Time, and one, the heartfelt You to Me, was written by Pedler to celebrate true love defeating every obstacle and moment of hardship.
The overall sound of this release seems to sit halfway between the two main currents of the folk scene, the deeply old-fashioned approach to traditional music and compositions inspired by it, and the modern wave, characterised by a touch of minimalism and influenced by cinematic music. The result is a tantalising album that manages to convey the feeling of discovery these three artists must experience whilst making music together.
The wide variety of instruments, keys and atmospheres allow them to unleash their full potential and to enchant the listener with a surprising array of different soundscapes. This is music of a quality that can only be achieved when friends enjoy making music together; and it is only the first of what we hope will be a long series of albums.Michele Mele
Released on CD and digitally on 29 August 2022. Recorded and mixed by Alex Garden, mastered by Martin Nichols
2. Salt and Sweet
3. Rigs of the Time
4. Hot Wax
5. De Rienn
6. The Stray Polska
7. Searching for Lambs
8. Spring Polkas
11. Old Tom of Oxford
12. You to Me
13. Orange in Bloom