A chance meeting between their respective managers at an industry conference two years ago led to what appeared on paper to be the most perfect collaboration between legendary twangmeister Eddy and Sheffield’s premier exponent of atmospheric guitar pop, Richard Hawley. The transfer of the idea from paper to practice is a resounding success; an album bursting at the seams with sonic adventure and sophistication.
Eddy’s last visit to a recording studio was for a 1987 project overrun with A-list guests (Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Ry Cooder, etc), resulting in a pleasant enough celebration of his lengthy past, if lacking in vitality. Here, however, he decamps to Hawley’s hometown for a set of new songs, written and recorded in less than two weeks, that nod to former glories but present him as an artist worthy of serious 21st Century consideration.
Bleaklow Air features Eddy’s low-string tuning evoking images of Ennio Morricone tramping across Derbyshire moorland; Twango revels in his love of Django Reinhardt; and Curveball recalls the echo-laden bounce of old hits such as Forty Miles Of Bad Road. Even without lyrics, these masterful songs tell a story; the slow country of Kindness Ain’t Made Of Sand manages to convey the idea of trust and friendship – qualities which would seem to have been in plentiful supply during the making of this beautiful record.