Minstrel Spirit

By • Aug 3rd, 2006 • Category: Creative Commons, Folk, Music, Renaissance

Artist: Minstrel Spirit
Website: magnatune.com/artists/albums/spirit-woods/
Album Name: Enter The Woods
Playback: mp3
Download?: Yes

From iTunes competitor Magnatune comes Minstrel Spirit. This Swedish duo consists of David Braic on guitar and vocals and Carolina Lindwall providing the lead vocals. Additional musicians are called upon as required. Both musicians write and adapt music inspired by medieval, celtic, classical and roots music.

David Braic and Carolina Lindwall

This album is beautifully performed, exquisitly recorded and produced (just listen to the acoustic guitar and harp on the track Gabriella). The more I listen to this album the more it grows on me but it was not lust at first hearing like the music of the commercial band Blackmore’s Night who compose and perform similar music. Also worth a listen if you can disregard some of the twee lyrics.

Two major differences between these bands (not forgetting Ritchie Blackmore’s “to die for” guitar playing), is I think the placement of the vocals in the mix and the fact that the instrumental tracks are the standout tracks for Blackmore’s Night. This is not neccessarily the case for Minstrel Spirit. Blackmore’s Night recordings feature and support the vocals of Candice Night while Minstrel Spirit treats the vocals of Carolina Lindwall as just another instrument and this weakens the album I feel.

Even so this album just gets more listenable with each repetition. I am surprised by this revelation after my initial reaction which was a scathing “very pretty wallpaper”.

The songs are exceedingly well crafted, try Grapes For Wine. It betrays David Braic’s progressive rock beginnings. Another good track is Winds of Spain with the nylon stringed guitar underpinned by upright bass in this instrumental. My favourite from this album though has got to be the Loreena McKennett inspired vocal track Winds are Cryin’.

Their new album titled” Higher Hopes Will Touch the Earth and Sky” is due out in August 2006. It’s currently in the final stages of editing and mixing.

is a graphic designer who used to front a band on vocals and bass. All evidence of which have mercifully been obliterated or otherwise lost.
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