Richard Trethewey - Two Halves

2024 studio album

Two Halves - Richard Trethewey

the bright young folk review

Twelve years after his first solo release Dig Where You Stand, multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter and music therapist Richard Trethewey is back with Two Halves, a new and colourful album recorded with a large line up including, amongst other things, a brass band.

As the title suggests, the release is made up of two sections focused on different themes: the first five tracks are inspired by places, people and events related to the south coast of Cornwall and its river estuaries, whilst the second part is based, just as his debut album, on the industrial past of the county. Despite this structure and the large number of instruments involved, there is no unpleasant shift between the two sections; everything is consistent in style from the first to the last note.

The first half includes both fast paced and, in spite of their foreboding lyrics, jolly songs like opener The Lonesome Track and more meditative passages like the haunting instrumental Ruan Lantern Castle, inspired by an often overlooked landmark on the Cornish south coast.

The second half starts with Trethewey Mine, a tribute to the story of the Trethewey family and its members’ emigration to Canada, followed by The Sounds of the Mine, measured out by the ticking of hammers and other tools and enriched by a stunning contribution by St Dennis Brass Band.

The album closes again on a personal note; Sleeping Under Wing features the notable voice of Raymond Trethewey, Richard’s father. Both halves have one instrumental piece, the fiddle led Mineral Point being the second one, both as the fourth of five tracks; a detail that underlines the symmetrical layout of the release.

In this new effort, Trethewey proceeds in the exploration of one of the most scenic parts of these isles. With his descriptive talent and his storytelling skills, he accompanies the listener through breath-taking wonders of the nature and dusty pages of the past, shedding a new light into Cornwall’s history and reinforcing his reputation as one of the leading voices of the county’s contemporary folk scene. Two Halves combines past, present and future, both in concept and sound. An evocative work all round.

Michele Mele

Released on 15 March 2024 on CD and vinyl. Recorded and produced by Phil Innes.

1. The Lonesome Track
2. Frenchman’s Creek
3. Queen of the Cornish Rhine
4. Ruan Lanihorn Castle
5. Bringing the Harvest Home
6. Trethewey Mine
7. The Sounds of the Mine
8. Hope in a Jam Jar
9. Mineral Point
10. Sleeping Under Wing

Richard Trethewey discography