Is this the first time in almost four years of Fiddlefreak reviews that I’ve let an entire month pass without a post? Gack! So here we go with the first review of 2012, and by God it was worth the wait. Scotland’s Aaron Jones and his partner Claire Mann make up half of a brillant new Celtic-German group called Litha. They just released their new record with an official launch at Glasgow’s huge annual music festival Celtic Connections.
Dancing of the Light (on Artes Records) contains 8 songs and 6 instrumentals from Scotland, Ireland and Germany that range from introspective contemporary folk to raging sets of traditional jigs and reels. Words cannot express the beauty evoked by Litha in this brilliant release. With excellent choice of material, impeccable performances, and exquisite production values, this is a master work of artistic creativity and execution.
Litha did not spring to life fully formed. In fact, the quartet released a previous album titled “Until the Cows Come Home” under the moniker of 2Duos. From the band’s website:
The 2Duos started out as a collaboration between Claire Mann and Aaron Jones from Scotland and Gudrun Walther and Jürgen Treyz from Germany. Although initially 2Duos started out as an experimental collaboration, we enjoyed playing and touring together so much that we decided to take the ‘project’ further and form a permanent band with a new name. ‘Litha’ is an old Anglo-Saxon word for the month of June, the time of light and the summer solstice celebrations. The band first met at Wimborne Folk Festival in England during the height of the summer in 2006 and so Litha felt like the perfect name for the band.
Litha consists of Gudrun Walther (accordion, fiddle, vocals), Claire Mann (flute, fiddle, whistles, vocals), Jürgen Treyz (guitar, dobro, vocals), and Aaron Jones (bouzouki, guitar, vocals). Jürgen did all engineering, mixing, and mastering, and the band did all its own arranging and production for Dancing of the Light. Simply amazing.
LISTEN: Rosie´s Reels