The saying “Never judge a book by its cover” and that saying couldn’t be more appropriate than for Bottle by Eliza Carthy & Tim Eriksen. The cover depicts a drawing of a ship in a bottle with a photo of these two stalwarts of the folk scene on the back, a typical cover for its genre, what I didn’t expect was this distorted electric guitar as they blast their way through the opening track Buffalo, the power and energy of the opening track is bound to raise some eyebrows with the traditionalists but this approach really brings the song alive.
Bottle consists of traditional songs from America and Britain and the musicianship throughout is excellent as you would expect. As the album progresses it settles down into more familiar territory starting with the beautiful Cats and Dogs/You Seaman Bold with both artists taking lead vocals and then joining together at the end.
The acapella May Song is for me the stand out track on this album which sends shivers down your spine, surely folk music at its best. This is then followed by more rip roaring electric guitar, bass drum and fiddle on Prodigal Son which rouses you from any sense of predictability.
This album is jam packed with surprises with 13 tracks in total there is something here for everybody but you really need to listen with an open mind to appreciate the true quality of what is on offer. At the end of the day this is an album of true quality by two artists at the top of their game who are not afraid to break down a few barriers on the way – highly recommended!
Review by Graham Steel