Ross and Ryan Couper – An Den Dey Made Tae

Album Review | Couper Records | Review by Allan Wilkinson

People talk of sibling harmonies quite a lot, that special familial connection which makes for such enduring musical partnerships from the Louvin Brothers and the Everly Brothers to the Dransfields and the McGarrigles. This empathy and musical dove-tailing can also be found in instrumental music, where two players instinctively know what each other is striving for and this fine debut by Shetland’s Ross and Ryan Couper is proof of that. Named for a popular local saying, where stopping for a brew is a frequent occurrence, An Den Dey Made Tae is a fine example of high quality instrumental music and I dare say plenty of the old Island Botanicals was consumed during the making of this album. A good fine blend of traditional, contemporary and original reels, waltzes, hornpipes and other tunes make up this pot, with an unexpected Billy Joel cover, “And So It Goes”, via an arrangement courtesy of virtuoso guitar player Tommy Emanuel.  The brothers are from a family of musicians and their sister Mariann Allan takes to the piano stool for the final set of tunes, under the title “Da Foula Reel”. Uplifting for the most part, An Den Dey Made Tae will probably see you putting the kettle on at some point.