Dirty Linen (8-9/99, p.64) - "...Delta fingerpicking linked to Renbourn's romantic British Isles and Celtic guitar sensibilities....the album is a successful merger of two very different and alluring guitar styles..."
Liner Note Authors: Dan Forte; ED Denson.
Recording information: Livingston Studios, London, England (1979).
Photographer: Guido Harari.
It's a mystery why this record and its predecessor, STEFAN GROSSMAN AND JOHN RENBOURN, aren't in the collections of more guitar players and general music fans. Grossman is one of the few guitarists of the '60s country/blues revival movement to forge an original instrumental voice out of what he learned from such musicians as Reverend Gary Davis. Renbourn, initially also a student of the blues, After the demise of his band (Pentangle) in the early '70s, Renbourn (initially also a student of the blues) went on to forge one of the only convincing approaches to the interpretation and composition of Renaissance-and-Baroque-styled polyphonic music on the steel-string guitar.
On their duet records, these two meet on the common turf of American blues and Celtic fiddle tunes and airs. The original compositions are at once down-home and high-flown, brimming with contrapuntal funkiness, and the music manages to sound both loose and precise. Grossman and Renbourn contribute equally to the composition and arrangement of the traditional material, and each performs one solo tune. They aren't uptight about overdubbing or using the occasional electric guitar texture, either. But the lingering impression is one of crisp, snapping strings and air being moved by wooden-boxed guitars.