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Jenn and Laura-Beth - Bound (JBLB Records)
Jenn Butterworth (Anna Massie Band, Songs of Separation) and Laura-Beth Salter (The Shee, The MacLean Project) unite for a rather delightful slice of British Americana for an album's worth of gentle country-inflected songs and sore-finger styled instrumentals, each musician handling their guitar and mandolin credentials with some deal of authority. The two musicians, having met and worked extensively together on the thriving Glasgow folk music scene, have developed a deep understanding of American music, which mixed with other global influences, not least material from their own respective English and Scottish musical heritage, makes for something of a universal appeal. Songs such as Kate Wolf's Across the Great Divide and Mindy Smith's gospel-tinged Come to Jesus, work exceptionally well, especially when augmented by some of Laura-Beth's stunning mandolin playing and Jenn's informed flat-picked guitar, such as on Shine, 1234 and Apple at the Crossroads. Sore fingers indeed.