David Gibb & Elly Lucas – Up Through The Woods (2013)
David Gibb and Elly Lucas, a youthful duo from Derbyshire, may be known to some as finalists of the BBC Young Folk Awards 2011. Having put out an EP in early 2011, and debut album “Old Chairs To Mend” through Hairpin records just last year, this is an act that is clearly not wasting time in getting out new material. With David on guitar, melodeon and vocals, and Elly on fiddle, viola and vocals too, the duo build an impressive sound, guesting other players throughout the album.
The album opens as it means to go on, with real drive and purpose behind the music. “Jackwire”, the first single from “Up Through The Woods” leaps and bounds through accomplished rhythmical guitar, executed to a tee, and delectable fiddle rolls – it opens the album in roaring fashion, an anthem seemingly against the machines taking the trades of their ancestors.
As it progresses, the album is a joy to listen to – the delicate ‘The Way Through The Woods’ is peaceful and precious, ‘Dalmation Cradle Song‘ is simply a study in harmonies and elegance of the voice and songwriting itself. ‘England’s Skies’ is so fantastically inherently English, as soon as the exquisitely performed fiddle roll comes in you are simply sat in your favourite pub having one of those merry ale fueled evenings with friends. However, Gibb and Lucas are so much more than another pub folk act. No better is this demonstrated than in the simply brilliant ‘Waterloo Johnny’, with echoes of Dylan (not just because of that storming mouth organ throughout) as much of as traditional folk, the duo are forging a fiercely strong album. It is undeniably spectacular.