When Rivers Meet – We Fly Free (One Road Records)

When Rivers Meet, creativity flows.

And We Fly Free is awash with richly rewarding blues rock.

Husband and wife duo Grace and Aaron Bond have crafted an exceptional album that’s meandering and magnificent in equal measure.

There’s the cacophony of biting blues and simmering slide guitar underpinning bullish opener Did I Break The Law.

And then there’s the luscious, laid back vulnerability of I’d Have Fallen.

Check out the sweet meets sinister harmonising on the brooding Bury My Body.

Or lose yourself in the genre-spanning set closer and title track — a truly triumphant farewell from an exceptionally talented couple.

When Rivers Meet Meets Saint Jude

It’s impossible to avoid comparisons with the much-missed Saint Jude.

At her most soulful and affecting, Grace can give the peerless Lynne Jackaman a run for her money.

But When Rivers Meet boast a heavier side.

And Bound For Nowhere leans on a Blues Pills-styled arrangement backed by a riff lifted from the nearest spaghetti western.

Versatility and the element of surprise serve the Bonds well.

Friend Of Mine is a captivating case in point.

Fusing a cigar box guitar with a gutsy double bass one of this wonderful record’s highlights is soaked in authenticity and dripping with understated cool.

We Fly Free Rewards The Faithful

But there’s no instant gratification to be gained by giving We Fly Free a careless whirl.

This is an album that demands investment before delivering the richest of rewards.

Aaron’s attentive fretwork is a lesson in itself but the guitarist’s dextrous touch is often so subtle it’s missed first — and even second — time around.

Grace’s evocative vocals prove to be the perfect foil for her partner’s outlaw blues and together theirs is a Bond that sparks something special.

Juxtaposing classic rock with early 20th century blues is a brave move.

But it would be a crying shame if We Fly Free remained a niche record reserved for connoisseurs.

The album’s myriad highlights should be flooding the airwaves right now…

…because When Rivers Meet are blowing the blues rock opposition out of the water.