A "cloudstreet" is a row of thermals marked by cumullus clouds. When gliders fly from thermal to thermal by following the clouds, they "fly the cloudstreet", staying aloft for miles.
CD REVIEW: SWALLOW THE CONCERTINA - CLOUDSTREET
Have we got a good Christmas present for you!!!!
Among the latest Folk album releases for the Christmas market is Cloudstreet's Debut album, Swallow the Concertina, (not so named because they hate concertinas but from their set of tunes The Swallow's Tail and the Concertina Reel).Cloudstreet have a good explanation for their name in the cover notes, which I think is very appropriate, I'll let you find out for yourselves when you get your hands on their CD.
Cloudstreet is Nicole Murray and John Thompson, good performers in their own right but together they are superb. Vocally they are well matched and musically their arrangements are magical. A good example is the opening track King Willy,(version of Child Ballad no. 6 Willie's Lady - original 44 verses) a brilliant mix of flute and whistle in a mediaeval style harmony which lends to the authenticity and enjoyment of this long traditional ballad.
Five of the twelve pieces on this album are traditional, three are their own original songs and tunes written in traditional style. There is some very impressive whistle and flute playing and great harmony singing. They have added nothing on the CD which cannot be duplicated in a live performance.
Among my other favourite tracks are a version of Child Ballad no. 10 The Twa Sisters and Annan Waters for their harmonies (both quite different) and John's original The Green Man, a very powerful song with a great chorus, really deserving to be sung in the midst of a large singing session so that we all can join in with the multitude of harmonies which are available.
The album production is clean and uncluttered and the treatment of the material is well thought out and just downright good. All this is bound up in a very attractive cover, designed by Nicole herself with the photography, recording and mix by Matthew Moline.
Not to detract from the above review I must admit that Cloudstreet is even better live. Their energy and dynamism and sheer joy of performing together before an audience is an added factor which I feel cannot be adequately conveyed on a mere audio CD - perhaps a video would be the answer? Or better still for an extra fee they could perform for you live in your lounge room, according to an informed source!!
(June Nichols in The Folk Rag, December 2000)
Check out the artist's website:
1. King Willy
2. Garinish Island/The Magic Hat
3. Annan Waters
4. Streets of Forbes
6. Swallow the Concertina
7. Parramatta Gaol
8. Honest Work
9. Ten Long Years
10. Two Sisters
11. The Green Man
12. Wasn't that a party