Alden Patterson and Dashwood – Waterbound

Album Review | Self Release | Review by Allan Wilkinson

You don’t have to wait long for a burst of Alden Patterson and Dashwood’s trademark three-part harmonies, just half a minute into the opening song and our spirits are effortlessly lifted.  Waterbound is the third album by the Norwich-based folk trio and once again, the song choices are just right, both original and traditional, each well-constructed and delivered from the floor, so to speak.  This is essentially a live album recorded in just ten hours and without an audience, though much of the trio’s stage dynamic is successfully captured. If the short time span comes as a surprise, then the fact that all but one of the nine selections are ‘first takes’ is positively startling, but then again I’ve seen this trio live and therefore know perfectly well that it’s like water off a duck’s back to these three musicians.     

Writing songs from or about a songwriter’s own neck of the woods always appeals and Noel’s “Broads in December” is a fine meditation on the famous Norfolk holiday destination, although from an out of season perspective.  The old timey title song “Waterbound” works tremendously well as a three-part a cappella performance, serving as a fine showcase for Christina, Alex and Noel’s collective vocal prowess.  The intuitive interweaving of the fiddle, dobro and guitar remains one of the trio’s focal points, along with Christina’s inimitable and strong voice and the trio’s tight harmonies, all of which places Alden Patterson and Dashwood among the most enjoyable outfits currently working on the British folk scene.

Choice Track: Little Red Canoe (NSV 498)