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Tim Edey and Brendan Power - Wriggle and Writhe (Gnatbite Records)

Star rating: 
4

Two outstanding musicians on both the acoustic and Celtic music scenes and both of whom already have successful solo careers, Tim Edey and Brendan Power have joined forces in a feast of electrifying fun and musical dexterity for one of the most eagerly awaited collaboration albums since the duo jammed together informally at festivals earlier in the year. New Zealand-born, now re-located to the UK, Brendan Power is regarded as one of the finest exponents of the chromatic and diatonic harmonica, whose session work has included stints with Van Morrison, Paul Brady and Sting and more recently Kate Bush, whilst Tim Edey is a renowned and gifted button accordion player, who has worked with an equally impressive roster of performers including Capercaillie, Sharon Shannon and Lunasa, and who also adds another string to his bow, well six strings actually, with his remarkable and equally important guitar work. Whether it's dazzling audiences with the sheer speed of their playing on such numbers as Celtic Thunder/Kent to Kintail, Baltic Crossing and Maids of Mitchelstown/The Morning Star, or on the astonishingly beautiful airs played with sensitivity and grace, such as Thomas Walsh's Inisheer and Tim's own Why, to the occasional blues in V for Blues, their common understanding of each other's playing is just about as intuitive as it gets. There's also one or two songs featured in the set, including Tim's faithful rendition of his old mate Enda McCabe's Winds and Tides Permitting and Steve Cooney's Bless the Road, together with Brendan's own Our Lady of the Road, an almost tongue-in-cheek dedication to the 'ladies' who have become our constant road companions since we abandoned the road atlas in favour of more technological advances. Self-produced by the duo and with no further instrumental assistance, WRIGGLE AND WRITHE serves as a monumental debut with a standard of musicianship that would be difficult to equal.  

Allan Wilkinson
Northern Sky