Reviews

Four Stars from Maverick Magazine

More thought provoking folk from Kip and Dave.

Kip Winter and Dave Wilson have been together for more years than they care to remember and are in great demand on the folk circuit. Dave Wilson is now recognised as being in the premier league of UK songwriters and he's penned all thirteen tracks on this latest offering ASHES & DUST, a fine follow up to the critically acclaimed CUTTING FREE. Kip Winter simply has a voice to die for but both are extremely proficient musicians. On this album, vocals are shared with Dave playing guitars, banjo, mandolin and ukulele whilst Kip chips in on accordion and flute.

I found the album really enjoyable especially when the duo veered slightly from mainstream folk. Don't Give Me Something I Don't Need for example is classic blues and The Healing Time has a distinct country feel. Doreen and Joe stood out, a poignant tale of a couple living in a two-bed tenement but longing for a child. 'All of her dreams on the kitchen table' is a great line and sums up the story perfectly. I'd Rather Be Ashes Than Dust pays homage to author, adventurer and environmentalist Jack London,; another great song. Kip and Dave tour extensively and if you love folk music, it would be worth catching up with them when they inevitably play somewhere near you.

 

John Roffey

"Glorious Harmony" - Fatea Magazine

Winter Wilson, Kip Winter & Dave Wilson if you want to get a bit more familiar, are commonly described as a folk duo and it's true they are, but in a strange juxtaposition they take both the broad spectrum analysis and the narrow band.

Broad spectrum because whist the genre they play is folk, they take a fast and loose attitude to it that allows them to define it rather than it define them. Whilst you can pick up hints of the tradition, you can feel as much contemporary input in their sound, all aided and abetted by a multi instrumental approach and vocal duties that sees each of them appearing separately and in glorious harmony.

Narrow band, because they are sharp, observational and reaching into the heart of a song with such focus, regardless of it being one of their more political or personal numbers, you know that Winter Wilson will get you into the core of the song.

One of the reasons for that is that Dave Wilson is such a good songwriter, as well as being a prolific one, having penned pretty much the whole of their seven album repertoire, but as you know, the writing of the song is only half the story with delivery making up the other half and hear Winter Wilson deliver the rich harvest.

"Ashes And Dust" is not an album that pulls no punches, the title of the album and the track it's derived from is based on the Jack London quote about being burnt out by a lifestyle and the question of that being better or worse than going quietly to your grave.

The songs are mainly contemporary and even where a title makes you think you are going to go down a more traditional path, you find yourself in something more recent and more personal.

Winter Wilson have a touch of the prolific about them, but when prolific's this good, more please.

Neil King

Fatea Magazine

Neil King

Winter Wilson - Ashes and Dust

Star rating: 4

Kip Winter and Dave Wilson are the kind of musicians who you bump into at a festival, where they often break out their instruments, usually accordion and guitar, and give you a song. There's no hiding in backstage area dressing rooms basking in the ethereal glow of stardom, fiercely protecting their privacy and, in effect, separating themselves from their audience, yet they are just as good as any of those who the above so often describes. Dave Wilson's songs are intelligent, melodic, often thought-provoking and most importantly highly listenable. Colour those lyrics and melodies with Kip Winter's convincing voice and the duo's rich harmonies and you're always on to a winner. ASHES AND DUST, the title lifted from one of the key songs I'd Rather Be Ashes Than Dust, a line borrowed in turn from the author Jack London, is the duo's latest release and contains just over a dozen original songs. Weary Traveller opens the set with a fine vocal performance from Dave, augmented by some fine finger-style guitar picking, urging the listener to take the weight off. If the opening song stylistically recalls the Kicking Mule records of the 1970s, Doreen and Joe is pure Winter Wilson, a simple tale of a couple's longing for a child, beautifully rendered and with a happy ending to boot. Isn't it encouraging to have a happy ending in this day and age? Dave Wilson makes the art of songwriting look easy; by his own admission, To Hell With Monday Morning was written in the time it takes Kip to get ready to go out. Mind you, we're not sure exactly how long it actually takes Kip to get ready! Produced by Dave Wilson, with Alistair Russell helping with the mixing and mastering, ASHES AND DUST is one of those albums you will listen to over and again.    

 

Allan Wilkinson
Northern Sky

"...one of those albums you will listen to over and again."   

"Always seriously good performers........their vocal harmonies just ooze certainty"

Dai Woosnam, Living Tradition

"In 30 years of listening to folk music, I have never heard two voices blend so perfectly"

David Aird, Chairman Glenfarg Folk Club

"Your writing is magnificent, your settings and playing equal to that and the both of you sing with a rare assured passion that I oft think has gone. It's a rare gift you have - cherish it mightily."

John Tams, (Warhorse, National Theatre)