No Time Like Now

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If Cherrygrove were hoping that, by bringing in accordionist-keyboards player Angus Lyon as producer, some of the magic from Lyon's classic Eighteen Months Later recording with fiddler Ruaridh Campbell would rub off on this debut album, their wish has come true. Not long out of college, the young Scottish band has a really attractive signature sound based on bright, nimbly articulated fiddle, harp and accordion work with strong rhythmic accompaniment and Lyon's production has captured it splendidly. Tune sets such as the Irish-Scottish medley The Prize have spark, drive and punch, and harper Sarah MacNeil's Ritos is a Latin American adventure that incorporates elements of outgoing Eastern European gypsy traditions as well as delicate, sensitive expression. The songs, which sometimes tend more towards Americana, aren't quite as convincing, although the in-house gospel chorus gives spirited compelling support on Ain't No Grave, but overall this is the sound of a band that is already making headway in the international roots music market and deserves to make further progress.

Rob Adams