Verdict: 3 / 5
Acoustic artist Nibs van der Spuy and multi instrumentalist Guy Buttery release their debut collaborative album. Both these musos are veterans of the local scene by now, plying their trade for a number of years together and as solo artists.
‘In The Shade of the Wild Fig’ is folky with plenty of world music influences. It features instruments like sitar, cuatro and mbira. The feel on the album is positive and relaxed, no frenetic or agitated passages are to be found. A song like ‘Pai’ is chilled and soothing with lovely melodic fills by the guitar and cuatro. The two add a couple of covers with ‘Up to my Neck’ by AC/DC rearranged for acoustic guitar but with added sitar and American instrumentalist Ralph Towner’s ‘beneath an evening sky’ features as well.
The album’s standout track is ‘Trambicosa’ which features a captivating guitar arpeggio, interspersed with catchy cuatro and acoustic guitar licks. Guy’s e-bow parts are beautiful and reminiscent of ‘That’s the Way’ and ‘Tangerine’ by Led Zeppelin. ‘Beautiful Feet’ is a weaker track with a poor vocal melody and Nibs does not have the most evocative voice either. These two artists have created a good album that offers pleasant acoustic instrumentation that should satisfy any acoustic lover’s ears.