Blueflint - Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh, Wed 30 Sep
- Emma Newlands
- 2 October 2009
Stories of heartbreak, revenge and plenty more drama besides pepper the lyrics of ace Edinburgh bluegrass banjo duo of Deborah Arnott and Clare-Louise Neilson who play the fingerpickin’ and clawhammer banjo respectively.
Their sublime delicate vocal harmonising adds a layer of achingly melancholy beauty to every song, from a murder ballad inspired by a William Faulkner story (‘What Lies Beneath’) to a cautionary tale about alcohol, which also sees the first outing for Debbie’s ukulele (a handily portable instrument apparently).
Announcing that their influences include Gillian Welch and Iron and Wine, they admit that there’s one musical legend they can’t resist paying tribute to – good ’ol Hank Williams.
‘You can’t beat a bit of Hank,’ the crowd is told, laughing when they add. ‘But that sounds a bit dodgy!’ However double entendres and good-humoured banter aside, there ain’t nothing dodgy about their Hank cover version.
And when they sing that ‘this September chill is setting in’ on what is the last day of the month, the weather is damn frosty outside, but their wonderful take on Americana could warm the coldest of hearts.