There’s a quiet, dignified beauty and simplicity in what Dan Evans does and it’s very much in evidence throughout his latest album, Au Vieux Moulin . Performing chiefly on his three-string dulcimer with sparse, but effective accompaniment from Andy Crowdy on double bass and Rebecca Hallworth’s crisp, clean vocals, everything is delivered with a fresh and sparkling clarity.
Evan’s talent on his chosen instrument comes to the fore as he interprets folk and pop standards ‘The Grey Funnel Line’, ‘Wild Mountain Thyme’ , Annie’s Song’ and Richard Thompson’s ‘Farewell, Farewell’ plus baroque, classical and traditional-based pieces.
It’s to Evans’ credit that Au Vieux Moulin consistently surprises with the ingenuities of his arrangements and in the range of the dulcimer. His duet, ‘Long Road To Memphis’ with American dulcimer player Stephen Seifert is exhilarating, and Evans teasingly offers a stunning little acoustic-guitar piece, ‘Guitar Interlude’, mid-album to prove there’s clearly more of his own talents to discover.
Occasionally Evans’ vocals lack a little authority though that’s merely a minor glitch on what is otherwise a coherent and graceful collection.