CD Review – Roots 2 by Stewart Hardy and Frank McLaughlin
Claytara Records 2009 – ISBN 884502259896
7 out of 10
‘Roots 2’ finds the duo of guitarist Frank McLaughlin and violinist Stewart Hardy tackling music from a number of traditions, as well as playing their own attractive pieces. Irish and Scottish music mix with world music overtones featuring in many of the other pieces. Some Jigs and Reels feature, such as in ‘Nepali Thunder’ which features a light jazz guitar backing, and phrasing similar to Stephane Grappelli, while in ‘Bonnie Bell Fog’ a minor key tune and backing provides a haunting setting for the duo’s arrangement of this traditional piece. The recording quality is of a universally high standard, and the accompaniment is always sympathetic, whether it is a lightly strummed guitar, or the fiddle and pipe duet that makes up ‘Chloe’s Fret’. The tunes are attractively played, with enough surprises to keep the listener entertained, and this CD would make an attractive addition to record collections looking for high quality traditional music with something different.