Jacquelyn Hynes is musician of English and Irish heritage, steeped eclectically in Anglo-Celtic folk and roots musics. On Silver and Wood she demonstrates mastery of her musical art through her writing, her performances, and in curating such a wonderful collection of songs, impressions and dances. This is a grown-up record featuring dialogue between artists who humbly serve the music, which is sublime on every cut. This music is honest but never earnest, comprising original and hybrid compositions and arrangements, and confidently understated performances of traditional music.

The Ashplant/Red Haired Lass are two popular reels, played – as all the dance tunes on the album – at an ideal tempo, not too fast, and allowing each note, phrase and melody to breathe. Gini’s Tune, an homage to a late friend, is all pathos, timbral variations from the flute presenting a study in emotive performance. My heart leaps when the piece becomes a lilting jig. The Cuckoo blends English and Appalachian folk with the Baroque, the urgent vocals of Hynes and J. Eoin contrasted by flutes duet-ing as larks overhead. Her Mantle So Green is more gorgeous, evocative melancholy, speaking straight to the heart – a flute a capella until Jacquelyn joins herself on melodica. The bazouki and banjo’s sparse commentary in Sliabh Russell allow this jig to dance with joy. She Moved Through the Fair is Union Station meeting One Giant Leap (without any of the irritating loops or patronizing cod philosophy of that movie); built around an improvised flute exposition, here is poise, dignity and elegance – captivating and enchanting. When Roscommon Reel slips into D’arby’s Farewell to London, a bodhrán makes its sole appearance on the record. The album’s standout track is Do in Di, Hynes’s spellbinding, swirling piano conjuring supra-consciousness, curating a hypnotic, magical canvas for Allison Sleator’s Merrow call. The Rookery/Tommy Mulhaire’s jgs showcase the easy alacrity of Quentin Cooper’s banjo and Yvonne Casey’s fiddle in the best of the Clare tradition on which they draw. A surprise gem is Hynes’ theatrical treatment of Greensleeves, in which she sings eerily over a harpsichord and unsettlingly orates new, feminist lyrics as a poem. I can feel the solo contralto flute speaking to me directly in the sad, frivolous and beguiling An Buachaillín Bán, before the disc concludes with two more lovely Clare reels, Micho Russell’s and Father Kelly’s; my head and my heart both join in the dance.

Listen to this marvellous album on good speakers, with a glass of red wine. For an hour, devote yourself to the music; it will give back in abundance. Expect to be moved to tears.

The album, released by Hobgoblin Music, is available here: http://www.hobgoblin.com/local/products/GM0215D/Silver-and-Wood-Jacquelyn-Hynes/



One Response to “Jacquelyn Hynes – Silver and Wood”

  1. […] “Listen to this marvellous album on good speakers, with a glass of red wine. For an hour, devote yourself to the music; it will give back in abundance. Expect to be moved to tears.” Dr Drums (full article) […]

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