The Silverlode and The Kelping
Rarely can two fellas have imparted so much excitement into their recordings. Mastery of a wide range of stringed instruments goes without saying; add two fine voices and a compendium of terrific songs and you have two scorching CDs. Napper's tenor banjo is nippy and confident; Bliss' original songs are some of the best around. Both play multitracked mandolins and guitars with occasional concertina and whistle. Invest with confidence.
This CD is one that needs to be listened to a number of times before a full appreciation of the many musical layers comes through. Both Tom Napper and Tom Bliss are excellent musicians, and 5 out of the 16 tracks are instrumental Some of the tunes are traditional, some written by Tom Bliss and one by Tom Napper, but all are brilliantly played. I particularly enjoyed The Isle of Wight Hornpipe/Cold Coast of Catterick duetted on octave mandolin and mandocello.
As for the songs, 8 of the 11 song tracks have been written by Tom Bliss and all are gems in their own right, the tunes keep going round your head, and several listenings are needed to take in the words and appreciate the thought that has gone into writing them. God Speed is a particularly good example of a finely crafted song with incredible words that paint a picture in your mind.
As I mentioned earlier, both Tom N and Tom B are excellent musicians and play a wide variety of instruments, which are used to great effect when accompanying the songs. The title track The Kelping and Tower of Refuge are two tracks which show how songs can be greatly enhanced by sensitive accompaniments.
Having listened to this CD, I would certainly like to see this duo live, and would recommend any one who enjoys good songs and excellent instrumentalists to get a copy.