‘A Cut Above’ by Will Pound - jaw-dropping, outstanding harmonica(September 11, 2013)
Harmonica, blues harp, French harp, mouth organ,whatever name you hang on it, it’s a free reed wind instrument. Over the years it’s been used across multiple music genres from folk to blues, rock to jazz and just about everything else in between. Even so, where ever it appears the harmonica rarely stands out as a lead instrument. However, history has thrown up some harmonica masters and today Will Pound has joined the ranks of notable exponents of lead harmonica. For those that know his music his debut solo album ‘A Cut Above’ ably demonstrates a master at work. And should you know the man and his music then this album will be a ‘must have’.
For those unaware of Will’s talent or his prowess on the harmonica, he has in a short time gained a considerable pedigree as live performer and session musician. He is recognised as the ‘in-demand’ harmonica player working with folk guitarist Martin Simpson, the Scottish Early Music ensemble Concerto Caledonia, English folk duo Haddo and banjo-master Dan Walsh.
Relishing in a wide ranging, eclectic mix of influences from ‘folk to blues, rock to jazz and just about everything else in between’ his album ‘A Cut Above’ takes you through a mix of re-arranged tradition and self-penned innovation. There are dances and ballads, bluegrass and mountain music - and on the way he takes the harmonica places you never thought to hear. From the sparkle and flash of tunes like ‘Soldier’s Joy/ Floating the Candle/ The Dutchess’ and ‘Old Joe Clark’ through effervescent Morris tunes ‘White Jock’ and ‘Dearest Dickie’ to the splendidly serene ‘Michael Turner’s Waltz’ this man demonstrates a mastery of an instrument that will leave you riveted. The album also offers Will’s entirely engrossing version of ‘Amazing Grace’.
Lending a hand on the album are Kris Drever, Martin Simpson, Andy Cutting, Tim Edey and Damien O’Kane. ‘A Cut Above’ is released on Proper Music on 28 October 2013.
Anyone that regards harmonica as an accompaniment instrument – think again, this is jaw-dropping, outstanding harmonica playing.
Reviewer: Tim Carroll