You are hereAlbum Review: Bellevue Rendezvous - Salamander (Journeyman)
Album Review: Bellevue Rendezvous - Salamander (Journeyman)
Bellevue Rendezvous are an instrumental trio from Edinburgh featuring the varied talents of Gavin Marwick on fiddle, Ruth Morris on nyckelharpa and Cameron Robson on cittern, guitar and jaw harp. Edinburgh based Gavin Marwick is no stranger to the Scottish music scene and has performed at many festivals, concerts, theatres and dances throughout the world with various bands and combos including Journeyman, Iron Horse, Cantrip and Burach as well as serving as a session musician for literally a who's who of performers including The Unusual Suspects, Wolfstone and Old Blind Dogs to name but a few. Fellow Journeyman band mate Ruth Morris is also a predominant force on the Scottish music scene playing fiddle, whistle and piano as well as the intriguing Nyckelharpa. Cameron Robson is from Denholm in the Borders and is steeped in a rich musical heritage, whose father Wattie Robson is a renowned borders fiddler.
Together, the trio Bellevue Rendezvous fit dove-tail-like and create an exciting sound, offering something slightly different from the usual traditional outfit. Formed in 2006, the trio came together to combine this very unusual collection of instruments in order to create a new and vibrant sound, which lends itself more to World Music than specifically Scottish traditional music. The compositions of SALAMANDER, their second album release and successor to 2007's TANGENTS album, borrow from the traditional musical sources of a diverse range of places such as Serbia, France, Brittany, Macedonia, Poland, Canada, Scandinavia as well as England and Wales. Reuben Taylor's production maintains a crisp sound throughout, which sees that neither main instrument overshadows the other, with particular attention to ensuring the cittern, which provides much of the rhythm on which to rest the dance tunes, isn't lost in the mix.
Gabriel's Step/Byss-Calle No 32/Hasse A's opens the album and sets out clearly the trio's statement of intent, probably to get you up on your feet for a good dance. Most of the selections on the album derive from dances throughout Europe including freilachs, reels, schottisches, polskas and dances from the klezmer tradition.
The traditional Makedonska Devojche, which translates to Macedonian Girl, as any self respecting A Clockwork Orange student would have already gleaned, has the band pondering over whether this might be the best tune in the world. The jury is out on that for now, but I can concede that it's certainly very much one of the most haunting tunes I've heard this year at any rate.
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