07 February 2013 (released)
07 February 2013
Ivan Drever has been around the Scottish folk and roots scene seemingly forever and his friendship with Frankie McGuire is goes back to the mid-eighties. Richard Young is a recent conspirator but the three of them share a taste for music that is warm and close without being cloying or smothering.
As with the best music, ‘Gifts’ has layers and seems to let you, the listener, into a little more with every listen but the core to all this is a mutual desire to add to each others music and as a listener I find it incredibly rewarding.
There are folk and roots elements as well as Celtic harmonies, all acoustic and played with utter grace and with melodies that remain in the mind after the track has finished.
The flute and pipes is used sparingly and the album is all the better for keeping the ear waiting for the atmospheric keeing while the piano playing is quite excellent. Drever’s lead vocal has warmth and an undertone of subtle joy and the guitar picking all through the album is precise and understated. This is so easy to listen to that it is easy to miss some of the subtleties but it really is a rewarding listen – they are there.
‘Forget Me Not’ is lovely and the rocky ‘Roll Over Stonehaven’ kicks its heels up like a grandmaw at the dance but my favourite is split between the country-Blues of ‘You Take The Rhythm’ and the lovely ‘Candle in the Storm’.
Nothing here to amaze or shock, simply excellent playing by three guys whose musical interplay is as much a delight for the listener as it is for them.