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When Rivers Meet is British husband and wife team, Grace Bond (vocals, mandolin, violin, viola) and Aaron Bond (vocals, acoustic guitar); and they have one previously EP to their name. Produced by Chris West, and recorded in his own studio in Spain they wrote eight of the eleven tracks. Of the three covers two have a country heritage, “Suspicious Minds” was a big song for Elvis (Presley) but Waylon Jennings and his wife, Jessi Colter made it into a country song! Most people know of the June Carter Cash – Merle Kilgore song “Ring Of Fire”.  Slowed down a mite the couple give it an interesting and semi-dramatic new spin. Roy Villanis’ “Fingertips” makes up the trio, and it sounds like one they could easily have written as Grace lays down a beautiful base. Her excellent handing of the lyrics is aided by West’s fine production. Back to “Suspicious Minds” the couple make a superb fist of it, the harmonies like with Jennings and Colter it contains no little magic (it is after all a timeless piece of writing by Mark James).    


One of the best attributes of When The Rivers Meet is the manner in which they have gone about making the record, a great deal of work and research by them as they keep the music, flowing and varied. Highlights include moody ballad “Greed” and with New Orleans horns the jazz, blues warmed (trombone, trumpet, clarinet) “Can’t Pay My Way” (along with “Papered Trust”) bring something different to the table, and though different like with all the songs the fit could not be better. Busy little number “Sweet Dreams Are Coming” produces some of the album's finest harmonies and with steady rhythm, violin and banjo they sing of good times coming with them at the cross roads of their lives.


Final track “Need To Be” is a sweet ballad, and with Grace singing a tender lead it speaks of where the rivers meet, and with fine arrangements and support from her husband it rounds off the record in a sensitive fashion. Of a haunting feel you have “You Blinded Me”, and with Grace on lead vocals the affair is both tender and artful. As already noted no stone goes unturned in their search to provide the lyrics with the correct arrangements, and with their ability to harmonise the album has many pluses. “Papered Trust” has them doing just that, and with Grace impassioned tones arguably better than at any time on the record they have a winner. 


                                                            Maurice Hope 

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May 2018

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