Saturday, November 30, 2013

Review: Twae Left Feet - "Guess Into Frank's Reel" Single

Sometimes it’s the simplest of things that lead to great things. Such was the case in 2012 when Galen Fraser and Scott Burns, after a late night St. Andrew's Day celebration of whiskey and song, decided to form the band simply known as Twae Left Feet. The Boston-based duo have spent the better part of a year refining their traditional Celtic sound, honing a mixture of classic Irish and Scottish tunes infused with their own bit of flair. While in the process of working on their first full-length album, the band can be found just about every week playing somewhere in the city, Fraser shining on fiddle while Burns keeps time on Bodhrán, leading the crowds through rousing traditional ballads and drinking songs.

One of their latest efforts is a track entitled "Guess Into Frank's Reel," inspired by a moment of reminiscence as the two men sat and recalled their time spent on the Isle of Skye in Scotland. They longingly remembered their time on the beach, watching as the waves crashed to the shore, and were inspired to write the first part of the medley, "Guess." Fraser's fiddle leads through the initial strains of the song, Burns' drumming maintaining a sound pace, and it sets an appropriately reflective tone. There's a sense of longing and warmth to the track that quickly gives way to fun and passion as they segue into the second half of the medley, performing the traditional Scottish tune, "Frank's Reel." The tempo is furiously frenetic and one cannot help but get the toes to tapping as the duo crafts a beautiful sound.
Twae Left Feet manage to do three things on "Guess Into Frank's Reel" which are particularly impressive. First, they showcase their ability to deliver classic material in a faithful manner, carefully reconstructing the time-honored "Frank's Reel" with clear respect and reverence for the source material and do so with gusto. They then manage to deliver their own signature composition in "Guess," featuring an arrangement that, if one didn't know, could easily be thought of as traditional material in and of itself, showing a keen sensibility for song craft, bridging the old with the new. Finally, they perform not only with musical excellence, their musicianship easily on par with fellow Celtic bands like Gaelic Storm, but with strong emotion as well, their performances inviting listeners into the music.
But the duo’s ultimate feat is that they leave listeners wanting more, and that’s the best compliment anyone could pay.

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