'Glad Gold Hearts' from The Rheingans Sisters(March 21, 2013)
Thanks to the almost magical interaction between two exemplary exponents of their art 'Glad Gold Hearts' from The Rheingans Sisters adds a piece of faultless beauty to the world. The seamless symbiosis between siblings is legendary (aside from the arguments - personal experience kicking in there) and it’s personified by the music of Rowan and sister Anna – rarely have two musicians forged such a tight musical link through combining their distinct styles to forge an intricate whole.
This interaction is evident through their exploration and rendition of traditional and contemporary folk music that incorporates distillations of style from Scandinavia, Britain and America. The blissful combination of two fiddles and two voices blend with the added combination of banjo, cello, bansitar (the sound of the sitar with the playing techniques and tunings of the five-string banjo) and concertina to deliver an album rich in consummate skill and exquisiteness.
From the lively enthusiasm of ‘Sorry The Day’ and the sparkle of traditional Norwegian dance in ‘Finskogs Pols’ with its pure exuberance, through the delightful observance of ‘October Song’ to the strong-willed sentiment combined with a old-time American folk in ‘The Factory Girl’ – absolutely loved the interplay between their voices on this one. There’s so much depth and spread about this album on so many levels you have to listen more and more – the pairing of old-English country dance tunes ‘Blenheim House/ Grimstock’ is enchanting, as is the striking song ‘Bread and Roses’.
There’s an enduring quality to this work that shines through every note.
Reviewer: Tim Carroll