Rock Salt & Nails
This is the first time I've come across Rock Salt & Nails, a band from Scotland. There is a trio of Johnston's, Emma (fiddle, piano and vocals), Fiona (keyboards and vocals) and Paul (guitar, vocals and strumstix - no, I don't know what that is, either) along with fiddler Paul Anderson, bassist John James Clark and David Jamieson on drums and vocals.
The energy of the musicians is infectious. Even on the slower tracks, the band puts fire into their playing. They are obviously relishing the moments together and that too is catching.
Two things are not apparent from the sleeve notes. First, who is responsible for the lead singing, Jamieson or Paul Johnston; and second, who is the main fiddler. And as the music is led by the vocals and the fiddling, leaving out that information is a little remiss on an album that lacks very little else.
Basically, the band rocks along behind some fun singing, with fiddle leaping to the fore for instrumental breaks. The lead voice is not the strongest, but its wispy, airy qualities more than make up for power. There is great warmth in the harmonies and the overall acoustic sound of the accompaniment. Rock Salt & Nails is quite a find. - Jamie O'Brien
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