‘Dominion’ by Melrose Quartet - deep roots and expansive branches(November 18, 2017)
Luscious four-part harmonies, multitudinous dance-inspired hooks, effervescent vitality and interaction, an impressive mingling of tradition with self-penned originality. With their latest album ‘Dominion’, Melrose Quartet take a capella traditions and sparkling tunes to mould them around contemporary inventions, the result is both engrossing and captivating.
The scope of this intriguing and attention-grabbing album carries from first to last. Opening with ‘Mariah’s Gone’ which introduces their incredible harmonies, voices blending and coalescing into an inspired and intricate union, their interpretation of ‘Dominion Of The Sword’ follows, complete with Martin Carthy’s additions and their own innovations to effortlessly express the essential power of the song, and then ‘A Generous Man/ Carthy’s March’ shows their command of instruments as well as voices. The songs on ‘Dominion’ cover the traditions of cautionary tales, narratives observations old and modern, stories of the sea and lost love, a lamentation on the passing of British industry and even a look at being a ‘modern mum’. Within that compass lie such delights as Nancy Kerr’s ‘Hand Me Down’, Jess Arrowsmith’s perceptive and original ‘Anthem Of A Working Mum’ and another of James Fagan’s tunes ‘Low Quebec’.
Melrose Quartet are Nancy Kerr (voice, fiddle) James Fagan (voice, bouzouki, guitar) Jess Arrowsmith (voice, fiddle) and Richard Arrowsmith (voice, melodeons). ‘Dominion’ is a first class album delivering music with deep roots and expansive branches - highly recommended.
Review: Tim Carroll