Sula - Over Seas
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Over Seas
Tutl (

cd cover Over Seas will grab your attention from the get-go and will not let go until ages after the very last notes have faded. Here is a band with a rich sound, a strong repertoire and a great sense of how to entertain the listener.

Eskil Romme plays accordion, fellow Dane Erling Olsen the fiddle, and Scotsman Rod Sinclair offers vocals, guitar and banjo. They are joined by Irish legend Andy Irvine on mandolin, bouzouki and vocals. The material is garnered from far and wide in terms of geography and time with Brian MacNeill and Bob Dylan songs nestling among traditional pieces from Denmark, Germany and Quebec. This mix of nationalities and origins meld into a dynamic, borderless sound. The music may be anchored in the sounds of Scandinavia and Celtic traditions, but the appeal is universal.

Romme's accordion playing is subtle and most unlike what you might expect from the instrument. He has a sensitivity more often associated with concertina, a warm, melodic weaving which flows around tunes rather than drives them. The sing-song fiddle creates a depth in the music, adding color and mood throughout. Sinclair is a strong accompanist with playing that ranges from sparse to full, always exactly what is needed. At times, the arrangements feature a full band, at times just one or two instruments, without weakening the overall effect of the playing.

The album is sandwiched by two monumental songs, written by songwriters greatly missed. The scene is set with "To Live Is To Fly," one of Townes Van Zandt's best compositions. And the final track opens with Davy Steele's "Last Trip Home." Both songs present strong singing by Sinclair, with wistful harmonies by Irvine, along with full instrumental work by all four musicians. The nine tracks in between demonstrate the high quality of Sula. - Jamie O'Brien

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