Cahalen Morrison & Eli West are two highly talented genuinely world class multi-instrumentalists from Seattle whose gorgeous earthy old time music is pure authenticity. Their debut album, The Holy Coming of The Storm went sown a storm in the US and it wasn’t long before they caught the attention of Bob Harris who invited them into the studio to record a session for his BBC Radio 2 show, saying their music was “quite extraordinary”. Morrison and West’s music – lean vocal harmonies entwining over a whirr of clawhammer banjo and ringing guitar strings – is a soulful amalgam of American roots music. According to Morrison, they’re drifting somewhere in “a Bermuda triangle where folk, bluegrass and old-time converge.”The Scotsman
Their performance at the Dundee Acoustic Music Club was simply breathtaking, I had caught the duo a few weeks earlier at the Didmarton Bluegrass festival they were brilliant there. Any worries of hearing them again so soon were instantly dispelled. Seeing such a high calibre duo in such an intimate setting was such a contrast from a large scale festival audience that it was impossible to compare the two performances.
The Sunday afternoon performance in Dundee in a small hall revealed much more interplay between the guitar mandolin and banjo the harmonies and vocal strength coupled with the astounding togetherness was mesmerising. The songs and instrumental breaks left me wondering where such inventive arrangements come from.
A truly world class act.
Support came from a collaboration between Andrew Short from Bristol and Ruth Alexander with additional support from Noel Dashwood from Norfolk on Dobro and Angus Wares on Mandolin. A happy blend of vocal harmony from Andrew and Ruth.