Words by Kevin Bourke
In the two years since their duo debut, The Queen’s Lover, guitarist Russell and fiddle-player Algar have won both the Young Folk Award and then the Horizon Award at the BBC Radio Two Folk Awards. Their trajectory is definitely upwards – a progress that’s certainly not going to be impeded by this terrific album.
The Call finds the pair supplemented only occasionally, notably on vocals by Elly Lucas and by the duo of Robert Hallard and Andy Hughes, otherwise known as the Cumbrian Two Chaps Choir. Russell and Algar’s own confidence and maturity has come on by leaps and bounds: bolstered, no doubt, by numerous crowd-pleasing festival and club shows, at which they’ve also gathered an intelligent and rousing collection of tunes that fairly evenly divides between traditional and contemporary. If anyone still needed proof of the startling amount of young folk talent out there all around the UK these days, just play them this.