EP Review | Old Barn Productions | Review by Allan Wilkinson
It’s always rewarding when a relatively new act takes the time to consolidate their music in just a handful of tracks that effectively showcases their range. On the Dawn EP, folk siblings George Brandon and Holly Brandon (The Magpies), give us a glimpse into their flair for arranging and delivering faithful interpretations of traditional songs such as “The Two Sisters” and “Barbara Allen”, as well as showing their informed approach to instrumental adventures, such as “The Red Bee Set”, which seems to sonically illustrate the flight path of a bee, featuring Holly’s expressive and skittering fiddle throughout. This kind of empathy comes from many years of playing together, their sibling dove-tailing detectable from the start.
The second instrumental on the EP takes us in the familiar foot stomping direction of Quebec, with Simon Riopel’s “L’Air Mignonne”, which once again suggests that the world is a small place in the hands of such musicians. Finally, completing Painted Sky’s initial showcase, a self-penned song in which the duo tell us about a local Berkhamsted legend in “Peter the Wild Boy”, a more contemporary sounding acoustic song set among the 18th Century upper classes. There’s nothing on this EP that suggests we have anything other than a quality act in our midst.
Choice Track: The Red Bee Set (NSV 506)