A Fairport Convention/Pentangle for the 2000s. "So marketed Scottish duo Doghouse Roses. It is not completely wrong.
Iona MacDonald sings beautifully fragile to me - and thoughts go to Sandy Denny and other female singers from the British
radical folk scene greatness in the 70's.
It is not usual that newcomers write songs that
feels like classics. Doghouses Roses does this, however, and the reason
for their success is probably due to the chemistry between the vocalist
Iona MacDonald and the guitarist Paul Tasker. After two former EPs, the
Scottish Duo has gotten everything exactly right this time.
This Glasgow based duo’s debut long-player is an absolute gem of a record. Recorded with producer/composer Malcolm Lindsay, who has previously written and arranged for The Delgados and The Willard Grant Conspiracy, it’s an album that relies on the simplest of formulas, a lot of heart, wonderful musicianship, but most of all beautiful songwriting. Vocalist Iona Macdonald has a voice that could melt the cruellest of hearts, and guitarist Paul Tasker plays his instrument with such grace yet with a touch of abrasiveness to strike - or pluck in his case - the perfect balance.
I love it when reviewers can't quite categorise something, except when it's me of course.
The prefix "Nu"
never promises anything good, when it refers to music. "Nu" stands
for: modern adjusted habits, also for flatness. NuJazz, NuSoul,
NuFolk. The British duo Doghouse Roses gladly describe themselves as
the latter, however, their tunes run deeper than that and in Iona
Macdonald's singing resides a loveliness which cannot be taught and
sometimes reminds one of Jacqui McShee. Can't be bad
Wolfgang doebeling Feb 2009
Based in Glasgow, songwriter-guitarist Paul Tasker and singer Iona Macdonald have been a duo since 2005, releasing a couple of EPs and a single. They've also been part of the touring line up for Willard Grant Conspiracy.
How've You Been (All This Time)? marks the debut album release for this capable Glasgow-based duo. The sound of Doghouse Roses is a twenty-first century update on the weathered troubadours that skirted the rock-tinged boundaries of folk and country music some forty years ago, inhabiting all the most alluring aspects whilst avoiding any of the much-laboured cliches.
Doghouse roses are a two-piece folk from Scotland, with singer Iona Macdonald and guitarist Paul Tasker and on this their first full-length record they have been joined by half a dozen accomplished musicians.
Great things are happening on the UK folk scene at the moment, and this accomplished debut album by Scottish duo Paul Tasker and Iona Macdonald should be heralded alongside the best of the new releases.
The story goes like that: at the end of 2005 Paul Tasker and Iona Macdonald leisurely sipped red wine and listened to the good old music and decided that something had to be done. Between 2006 and 2007 they recorded two EPs that impressed critics hence the decision to make an album wasn’t a tough one.
There is earthy folk music; how you would imagine it to be in wood panelled, nicotine stained pubs, and there is the folk music of the Doghouse Roses, who's spirit reminds of Scottish stone circles in the moonlight.
While these Glaswegians have a name that makes them sound like an 80s hair metal band from Los Angeles, their blend of Scottish folk and alt-rock is an unexpected success. Vocalist Iona Macdonald has an ethereal voice that gives songs like ‘Gone There’ an almost Clannad-like feel, while guitarists Paul Tasker and Malcolm Lindsay play with a level of expertise that immediately puts them head and shoulders above many similar bands. Well worth checking out
Brett Callwood Oct/Nov issue 2008
Iona Macdonald and guitarist Paul Tasker wrote these songs in their home city of Glasgow and called on guests including Scottish Opera’s principle cellist Robert Irvine. ****
the Daily record
This Glasgow duo, comprising singer Iona Macdonald and guitarist Paul Tasker, presents a seamless mix of folk, blues, country and Americana on their full-length debut, with the folk factor ultimately pushing through prominently. Macdonald’s voice is pretty and pure and the arrangements fall on the mellow side of the roots spectrum. Their love of 60’s folk trailblazers Pentangle comes to the fore on the track Happiness with its beguiling vocal melody and Bert Jansch-style guitar. ***
Fiona Shepherd, 3/10/08
The chemistry is obvious between Scots country-blues duo Paul Tasker and Iona Macdonald. Tasker’s guitar plucking is perfect backdrop to Macdonald’s crystalline vocals. The mood is sombre and reflective but Border Hills and the jaunty Happiness lift the mood. A great debut album. ****
Avril Cadden 5/10/08
The Sunday Mail
This impressive full-length debut from Glasgow-based neo-folksters Doghouse Roses puts it best foot firmly forwards. Opening track Gone There sets out their stall assuredly with Iona Macdonald’s plaintive, anglo-vowelled voice chiming clearly over the urgent guitar-picking of Paul Tasker, a man who has clearly paid studious attention to the fingerwork of folk’s living legend Bert Jansch.
The Album 'How you've been (all this time)?" of the scottish folk duo Doghouse Roses offers an impressing symbiotic mixture of all kinds of british treasury of songs and their recreation.
Glasgow duo Doghouse Roses have been kicking around Glasgow for the best part of three years and this, their full-length debut, makes good on the promise hinted at on two EPs and a single (‘Greener is the Grass’) that they are something a little bit special.
On their debut disc, alt.folk duo Doghouse Roses put the experience gleaned in treading the boards across the UK's folk and Americana circuit to good use. When presented with the veritable sweethop that modern technology presents, it's all too tempting to ladle on the sugar, icing and unnecessary hundreds and thouands - ultimately losing the heart of the music.
Only Daniel Wylie from Glasgow was on the radar here and now we have another promising band, Doghouse Roses. At the heart of this formation is singer Iona Macdonald and guitarist Paul Tasker who also wrote 9 of the 10 songs here.