Unicorn

This album is Dan’s fifth and is a success from start to finish. Recorded predominantly in Wellingborough with a sprinkling of tracks recorded in Nashville, Tennessee, this album showcases Dan’s skills on the mountain Dulcimer. It amazes me how such a simple instrument as the mountain dulcimer can be made to produce such beautiful sounds. It only has three strings and two of them are tuned to the same note, for goodness sake!

Dan is ably supported on the album by Andy Crowdy on guitar and bass with Rebecca Hallworth on vocals. He is also joined on a couple of tracks by the American dulcimer virtuoso Stephen Seifert.

I have been listening to this CD for a couple of weeks while trying to make up my mind why I like it so much. I’ve had it playing in the office, in the car and, while I’m writing this review, on a train. It has struck me that the arrangements of the tracks are simple and the tones of the instruments and voices very clear. The collection of tracks runs for over forty five minutes and I find myself lost in an almost meditative state through the whole album.

The album has a number of my favourite songs on it which always helps but to my mind you can’t get much better than Dan’s version of Amazing Grace. The blend of Dan’s dulcimer, Rebecca’s voice and Andy’s guitar work perfectly. I would also point you to Bullet Train one of the instrumental tracks on the album. It describes a modern Japanese train whooshing past medieval villages to its destination. It has a Mike Oldfield/Tubular bells sound that I think is great.

I thoroughly recommend this album.

—Simon Bailes