‘The Silent Majority’ - Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar - poignant narratives and meaningful messages(March 10, 2016)
Seldom does an album make its mark as surely and swiftly as ‘The Silent Majority’ from Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar, with its poignant narratives and powerful messages that remain relevant today despite many being as ‘old as the hills’. Already highly regarded as proponents of the ever-evolving folk tradition with their respect for heritage, contemporary compositions and masterful musicianship, this duo’s third studio album offers increased depth and wider exploration of their own and other writers work.
You will have to search to find a song with a more profound message than the ‘The Silent Majority’, which spans the impact of history allowing ‘evil men’ to rise to power because the majority remain silent and do nothing, by contrast ‘George’ changes the focus from many to one man, recounting drunken nights on Fridays and Saturdays in Glasgow. ‘We Must Be Contented’ originally written in response to the1832 Representation of the People Act designed to bring wide-ranging changes to the electoral system, tells of oppression of common folk by the wealthy ... not much changes then. They also offer the moving ‘Did You Like The Battle Sir?’ written by John Richards and Bev Pegg, a re-working of ‘Limbo’ with its ‘Hogarthian’ tale of riches to rags in debtors’ prison, and maintaining sad tales an original take on the sorrowful ‘Brisk Young Man’. As you might expect they include some tunes: the iridescent ‘The Intruder’, the dream-like embrace of ‘The Tide’ and the quiet wit of ‘Swipe Right’.
‘The Silent Majority’ is performed by Greg Russell (vocals, guitar, bouzouki) Ciaran Algar (violin, vocals, bouzouki, banjo) with the added talents of Laurence Blackadder (double bass) Ali Levack (Highland pipes, Border pipes, whistle) Hannah Martin (vocals) and Tom Wright (percussion).
Having long-appreciated Russell and Algar’s work, I recommend you pay attention to ‘The Silent Majority’ ... find them here: www.russellalgar.co.uk
Review: Tim Carroll