For their fourth album The Brickfields, Granny’s Attic, namely Lewis Wood (fiddle), Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne (concertina and melodeon) and George Sansome (guitar), come back to their initial focus.The album, supported by the English Folk Dance and Song Society is in fact made up of nine instrumental tracks, both traditional and original, recorded with no overdubs under the guidance of Ian Stephenson during three days at Simpson Street Studios in Northumberland.
The album starts with Cruds & Cream / Jig from New Harmony, a medley that immediately connects this release with the first album from this Worcestershire trio. This is followed by the stunning Odd Thoughts / James’s Maggot, a set including a meditative jig and a sparkling hornpipe, both from the 18th century.
With its warm tones, calm stride and jolly mood, the fiddle-led waltz Queen’s Wood provides a perfect bridge to the second half of the album. It features, among other interesting tunes, some subtle but catchy variations on Devil’s Arch and the remarkable set Highfield’s Lament / 200 Miles South West, the track that anticipated the release of the entire album, a delicate and serene medley of self-penned compositions.
On most of the tracks one member of the trio leads the ensemble; for example Considerate Birders, where Sansome’s guitar is pretty much centre stage, or Boxing Day and the opening track, where concertina and melodeon are under the spotlight. However it is also true that the other elements of the trio are not just an accompaniment, but provide a fitting and thoughtful counterpoint that extolls the melodic qualities of the tunes.
The overall result is an album that conveys the intense, natural and emotional energy of Granny’s Attic live performances and a great effort for the promotion of English instrumental folk music around the world.Michele Mele
Released on CD and digitally by Grimdon Records on 8 October 2021. Produced by Ian Stephenson, recorded at Simpson Street Studios, Thropton
1. Cruds & Cream / Jig From New Harmony
2. Odd Thoughts / James’s Maggot
3. Considerate Birders
4. Rakes of Kirkby / Will Grimdon’s No. 2
5. Queen’s Wood
6. Devil’s Arch
7. Highfield’s Lament / 200 Miles South West
8. Boxing Day / The Brickfields
9. Watt’s Reel