Quick plays: DELLA MAE, FRIGG

DELLA MAE - Headlight

DELLA MAE – Headlight Rounder Records [Release date 17.01.20]

Della Mae are a Grammy nominated, Nashville based three piece consisting of lead vocalist/guitarist Celia Woodsmith, fiddle player Kimber Ludiker and mandolinist Jenni Lyn Gardner. ‘Headlight’ is the trio’s fourth album and Sheryl Crow’s keyboards player Jen Gunderman guests, with Dan Knobler producing.

They may have a bluegrass background yet on this album they stretch themselves musically as they set out to do. Be it a bit of gospel on ‘It’s About Time’, nice bit of folk meets country on ‘First Song Dancer’ (another song to feature a great bit of piano) or the frantic playing on the instrumental ‘Peg Monster’.

For some reason ‘Wild One’ reminded me of Whitesnake’s ‘Wine, Women & Song’, albeit with the guitar solos replaced by a mandolin and fiddle! It is the vocals, lyrics (albeit a wild woman not man) and the bar room piano that recall Coverdale & Co. A rollicking tune and a great listen.

What a great way to start 2020 off with, featuring a feisty set of tunes and plenty for lovers of country and folk to enjoy. ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

FRIGG – Frixx [Release date 31.01.20]

Finland’s Frigg celebrate 20 years with their tenth album. Frigg still feature the talents of four fiddle players, plus a guitarist, bassist and cittern/mandolin players. Couple of line-up changes with Antti Järvelä (double bass) and Tuomas Logren (guitar) leaving to be replaced by Juho Kivivuori and Anssi Salminen respectively.

Their last album, 2017’s ‘Frost On Fiddles’ was a delight to hear and ‘Frixx’ proves a worthy successor. Chock full of instrumentals that cover the mellower side of their playing – ‘Terhen’ – and their faster playing – ‘Jouko-Taiga’. The fiddles are often to the fore, however Frigg cleverly add the guitar, bass and drums parts to add that extra depth and little bit of sparkle to each tune.

Another highly enjoyable album from a band who must be a wonder to behold playing live, in full fiddling action! ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

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