HELEN & IAN BRAITHWAITE
San Antonio Rose - Daddy's Hands - Divorce - Bird of Paradise - Amazing Grace/Will The Circle Be Unbroken - A White Sports Coat - After The Lights - Words - Y'all Come - Oh Baby Mine - Teen Angel - Wake up Little Suzie - Goodnight Kiwi
Helen Braithwaite is one incredibly gifted guitarist. She plays quite often in the Chet Atkins style, but she also has the ability to play in the Merle Travis style. Her husband Ian plays bass behind her. Given, that is quite a feat, but this New Zealand country singer also has a very pleasant and beautiful voice that she very effectively uses singing some of America's finest traditional and classic country songs. She and her husband are popular enough in New Zealand to have their own performance center, which contains momentos and remembrances from their very long career in country music. This particular CD is much like how the Braithwaite's perform in a 'live' concert, just Helen and Ian singing and playing the songs much like those great old-time songs used to be played before the introduction of digilatized electronic phony perfection. What a treat to hear it like it once sounded, but played with a 'new' love and affection for the old songs. Helen also plays an old-time style organ, and she sometimes lays an old-time fiddle on top of some of these old songs. What a treat for someone who really appreciates the older style of country music that was, and still is, 'real' country music. Ian adds some vocals too, and is especially good on "A White Sport Coat." This couple is making the trek to the LeMars, Iowa, Festival this year (Aug 31-Sept 6, 2015) and the audience will be thrilled to hear this old song again. I especially liked their instrumental version of "Goodnight Kiwi" a popular country song in New Zealand. I'm passing this CD along to the Rural Roots Music Commission to see what their opinion is, and we are definitely looking forward to seeing and hearing the Braithwaites once again at the LeMars Festival. They will be on with Anita Bryant, Roni & Donna Stoneman, Jim Glaser, Wade Landry, Don King, Terry Smith, Red Johnson, and 600 more terrific musicians.
RECORD REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART - www.ntcma.net
for Country Music News International