Graham Lindsey is a multi-instrumentalist and composer, he plays as a soloist and side-player with Celtic and folk musicians in Ontario and Québec, with bands and artists including From Away, The Trads, Anna Ludlow, The Sarah Burnell Band, McGregor & Lindsey and more.
‘TradHead’ is his first solo release, recorded in six cities on two continents and features a vast array of talent gracing the tracks, including Anne Janelle, James Hill, Caleb Gallant ( Ten Strings and a Goatskin), Kristan Couture and many others. There is also an amazing support network involved in the making of the album that have been listed in the liner notes, with some very prominent members of the music community in Canada, including the producer Bill Garrett (Borealis Records cofounder).
This is not as the name would suggest a ‘trad’ album, meaning an older or original style, but therein lies a very clever juxtaposition, because the album does contain mostly original compositions played in a very unique and original style of playing, of which Graham Lindsey has developed himself. Many of the compositional influences on the sets could well have been drawn from Scots, Irish, English, French or even Canadian folk music spheres. With that said, completely ignore the last sentence as it’s important, before pressing play, to free your mind of any of the assumptions that you might have associated with the styles mentioned.
There are some extremely imaginative compositions sprinkled throughout, all superbly arranged, with a lot of thought having gone into placement. It’s always difficult to hold a listener on a recording that has mainly instrumental tracks – there is one well placed song – but Graham Lindsey seems to have the magic touch, I found it extremely enjoyable from the onset. It includes a very unusual, yet thoroughly entertaining arrangement of the old Scots / Irish song ‘ Wild Mountain Thyme ‘ adapted by Belfast musician Francis McPeake ‘ in the 1950’s; it is quite beautifully sung here by Kristan Couture and the instrument accompaniment is stunning.
Whether you are a lover of Celtic or folk music in general, you will find lots of interesting tunes on this album, it’s pushing the boundaries, and that’s what makes it such an interesting recording, the playing keeps you guessing, it does not take you in the direction that you might expect, it’s uniquely Graham Lindsey; the whole team have done a wonderful job, I have just become a TradHead!