Album Review: Neuk Wight Delhi All-Stars by James Yorkston
Excellent, Based on 4 Critics
The Observer (UK) - 80 Based on rating 4/5
T he backstage encounter that led to this fusion of western folk and Indian classicism has paid off handsomely for James Yorkston, Jon Thorne and Suhail Yusuf Khan. They follow their garlanded debut with a similar mix of original and borrowed songs, blending Khan's alluring cello with gentle acoustic guitar and thrumming bass; an improbable, but mostly seamless fit. All three sing; Khan rapturously, Thorne in plaintive cockney and Yorkston with his usual earthy intimacy.
The unexpected trio of England's James Yorkston and Jon Thorne and India's Suhail Yusuf Khan continues to bear fruit on Neuk Wight Dehli All-Stars, the follow-up to their inspired 2016 debut Everything Sacred. Arriving barely a year after their debut, this set feels like a logical sequel in both concept and execution, but with the added bonus of more time spent together deepening their collaboration. The group's Spartan mix of acoustic guitar (Yorkston), double bass (Thorne), and sarangi (Khan) continues to explore every pocket of nuance as they skillfully marry bits of U.K.
After the success of last year's Everything Sacred, (described as "three world class talents raising their respective games" by RC) guitarist and vocalist James Yorkston, bassist Jon Thorne and sarangi player Suhail Yusuf Khan return. It is, like its predecessor, a beguiling union of east and west - an album that quickly establishes its own universe and welcomes you in, with its reference points of Indian classical music, jazz, kosmische and dub. Their three voices create an extraordinary blend, with the song-speak of Thorne, the pure folk of Yorkston and the circling, floating Hindi of Yusuf Khan.
Everything Sacred was one of last year's most pleasant surprises. The debut collaboration between James Yorkston of the East Neuk of Fife, New Delhi's Suhail Yusuf Khan and Jon Thorne of the Isle of Wight wed traditional Anglo-Celtic folk music to throbbing jazz basslines. But the most affecting element throughout was the presence of Khan's traditional Hindi singing, and his sarangi - a bowed stringed Indian instrument forged of red cedar.