2008 – Roughmix-985902-6
Rob had been touring with Gareth Davies-Jones for a few years when they headed down to Pete Bas’ studio on Mersea Island in Essex to record a mini album together.
The 8 tracks include covers of Buddy and Julie Millers’ Broken Things and Larry Normans’ The Outlaw which they played as part of the Greenbelt Festivals’ tribute to Larry.
Fun fact – Rob was suffering from kidney stones while they were recording this – ouch.
Rob Halligan – Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Cajon
Gareth Davies-Jones – Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Mandocello
Pete Banks – Keys, production
Reviewed by Tom Whitman
This homemade record just gets better listen after listen. Recreating live acoustic versions of songs they’ve performed on the road for the last few years, Gareth and Rob, both highly respected British songsmiths, have served up a delightfully provocative record. Their individually distinct voices blend and contrast at every turn, the tangible forces of tension and relief on display within each offering. The arrangements are deliberately sparse, showing a confidence in the song and the listener alike. From their justice-filled originals bursting with truth to the touching take of Julie Miller’s “Broken Things”, the record ebbs and flows like any good record should. Davies-Jones has a magnificently measured voice and the accent and dynamics all have an incredibly drawing effect, as each word is purposefully sung, determined by its own context and meaning. The only low point is “Eleana”, the almost carefree delivery of which doesn’t seem to match the story. However Halligan hits back with the brilliant “Do Justice”, its chorus springing from the Old Testament book of Micah. The album finishes with a fantastic cover of Larry Norman’s “The Outlaw”, poignantly rounding off a most enjoyable album though that’s outdone by the duo’s breathtaking version of Mike Scott’s “Bring ‘Em All In” – surely one of the greatest spiritual songs ever penned by a non-Christian – on a hypnotic recording that deserves every bit of its extensive Cross Rhythms radio play.