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Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar - The Silent Majority (Fellside)
There was a time when a duo would burst onto the scene and shortly afterwards one half of the team would rise to the top, in either popularity or talent, resulting in a subsequent solo career, leaving the other one slightly left behind. Not so with Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar, who both continue to thrive as equals in both popularity and talent, mischief and wit, good looks and smart suits and the list goes on. The Ant and Dec of the folk world. It has to be said, each one does their job extremely well; Greg's convincing and honest voice and Ciaran's deft musicianship seem to be made for each other. One tends to look forward to each album release with relish. Once again Greg and Ciaran's song choices are spot on here, with the title song treated as a veritable opus, complete with musical prologue, Findlay Napier and Nick Turner's almost anthemic George, an engaging coming of age tale, featuring an unlikely Glaswegian bruiser who swaps his fists for dancing shoes and notably the duo's reading of the traditional Limbo, a song that suits interpretation, whether in the hands of Tony Rose, Martin Carthy, Eliza Carthy, Ruth Notman or Ant and Dec, erm, I mean Greg and Ciaran. There's lots of other good stuff on THE SILENT MAJORITY, including some fine instrumental fireworks on Swipe Right, featuring Ali Levack on pipes, some additional musical support courtesy of Laurence Blackadder on double bass, Tom Wright on percussion and Hannah Martin on vocals, not to mention the continued excellence of Paul Adams and all at Fellside. A fine album that comes highly recommended.