Red Red Rose
The music seems familiar yet maintains the spark of originality. It feels like a soundtrack lullaby, with interesting sonic dots and dashes that keep the ears tweaked, but in a peaceful, calming fashion. Wallace, an American- and one-time resident of Edinburgh- and Keldie, a Canadian, with roots in Scotland, bring these traditions alive in a new setting that bridges from the 'Public House'- or "Pub" as we know it today- to a modern, coffeehouse style for lovers of words, and soothing music. Wallace's version of, "Oh, Danny Boy" is a bestseller at iTunes, and was a listeners' pick for the Biohazard soundtrack. Noteworthy songs that float airily- with hypnotic rhythms- include: the title track, "A Red, Red Rose," the haunting, "Bound for Iona," and "Love In the Garden" (on a pear-wood flute from 1832). Thomas Moore's poem, "Echoes" is a lively reinvention, and the words of "St. Patrick's Prayer" are featured in a fresh combination of sounds with toy piano, finger cymbals, tin whistles, a banjo, and vocal hums. The album has a present-day appeal, clearly of the new world, yet with flavors and hints of traditional melodies and instruments. The performances are first-rate, the music soothing and layered, and Wallace's vocals and treatment of the lyrics and poems, is ethereal and transporting. Denis Keldie, a keyboardist with hits from the 80's with the band, The Extras, contributes wonderful layered keyboards and accordion. One new song from the sessions is a storyteller's standout, "The Old Man's Records," helping reveal the idea of roots cherished and family ties held close. This music is perfect for dramatic settings, scenes requiring a light reference to the old whilst retaining a contemporary sensibility (games/sci-fi/drama). With it's natural and unaffected charm, this is a fresh 'new world' take on some old favorites with some new characters along the way...