Friend n’ Fellow: Purple Rose

The German duo Friend n’ Fellow (for vocalist Constanze Friend and guitarist Thomas Fellow) cast themselves in the fine mold of Tuck & Patti for the wonderfully expressive and often moving Purple Rose (Ruf 51416 1442 2; 46:14). Fellow’s detailed and finely wrought one-man-orchestra guitar wizardry provides the setting for Friend’s rich, soulful vocals.”

The duo builds-out familiar melodies like “Fly Like an Eagle,” and explores rich originals like the bent-note bluesy “Friend of Mine” (with its insightful and touching lyrics, i.g.: I know my name is Friend/and sometimes I’m not sure/what does it really mean, yeah/what does it really stand for?). Other highlights include the impossibly fast guitar work-meets-intense-vocalese of “Don’t Run Away,” and the uplifting “Colours” wherein jumpy guitar intertwines with musing vocals for a plucky effect, before a larger band sets the piece aflame with full soul motion. Intimate and inspiring, Purple Rose is one to search for.