Young Britfolk is a small, often incestuous, world. Kathryn Roberts began her career in a duo with Kate Rusby, while Sean Lakeman had a group with his brothers before forming Equation (which included Roberts). This pairing finds them taking on mostly traditional British and American music with a spare, sympathetic touch. Roberts has a delicate voice that eases its way into the emotion of a song, whether it's the anger of "Granite Mill" or the plaintive ache of "Once I Had a Sweetheart." On the few tracks that bring in the Equation, the arrangements unfortunately tend toward the bland, as with "Lord Gregory." But when they apply the less-is-more theory, it works like a charm: witness their glistening cover of Tom Waits's "Georgia Lee." "Lovely Nancy" gets a deliciously upbeat treatment, while "The Girl with the Bonny Brown Hair" makes a closer full of sighs and remembrance. More a labour of love than a commercial outing, it's a lovely little detour.
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