Sing Out Magazine
Sinsheen--Scots for sunshine and brightness--is the duo of Chrstine Kydd and Barbara Dymock. It's also an apt handle for this scintillating collection of powerful and glorious harmony singing. If you've had your fill of aspirated little-girl voices, the maturity and experience of Kydd (Fair Game, Chantan) and Dymock (Ceolbeg, Palaver) shines through on each track, especially in their understanding that a good song doesn't need a lot of frippery. Quite a bit of the material is a cappella, and the rest is lightly orchestrated with guitar, piano and hand-held percussion. There's a bothy ballad ("Weary Waiting"), a cover of a 19th-Century parlor standard ("Mother Glasgow") and four Robert Burns songs, including the doleful "As I Was a Wand'ring," as well as a jazzy cafe-like rendition of "The Slave's Lament." The latter signals that the lasses aren't shy about twisting old songs in new ways. "Loch Lomond," for example, is sung to an older and less-familiar tune, and "The Cooper o' Cuddy Set" takes three jigs and turns them into sung pipe tunes. Perhaps most surprising is the collision of the Grampians and the Appalachians that occurs when Kydd and Dymock tackle American songs, such as "Canaan's Land" and "Harriet Tubman." But whatever the mood, these two simpatico voices will brighten even the gloomiest day

Scots Magazine
Lift is aptly named, as it gives you one - though actually it's Scots for "sky". It's the debut album from Sinsheen (Scots for "Sunshine") who are Barbara Dymock and Christine Kydd, both well-known (to say the least) in Scottish traditional harmony singing, here supported by Michael Marra. Themes covered are traditionally Scottish, from concerns about one's fellow man, as in the tale of slavery abolitionist Harriet Tubman, to not-forgotten far-off things and battles long ago, as in an unusual version of "Loch Lomond," and a rollicking account of somewhat inept carnality in "The Cooper O' Cuddy Set". An album that can raise a smile as well as a tear.

Oz Hardwick
There’s a lot of hyperbole and self-delusion in this business, so when an album cover has the temerity to boast ‘Two Great Voices In Harmony’, a cynical eyebrow is sure to be raised. The thing is, that’s exactly what this album delivers. Barbara Dymock and Christine Kydd have both built enviable solo reputations on the Scottish traditional music scene – Barbara was also a founding member of Ceolbeg – and this pairing is a match made in harmony heaven.
Epithets such as ‘Scottish Silly Sisters’ are justly earned, with twin voices right at the centre, whether unaccompanied on an exquisite ‘Weary Waiting’ or with just a touch of accompaniment from Christine’s guitar, Barbara’s percussion and some tasteful piano from producer Michael Marra. And like Prior and Tabor, Sinsheen catch just the right balance between straight native trad. and broader influences.
The exchange between traditional and contemporary is open both ways, with Marra’s ‘Mother Glasgow’ outstanding in its emotional depth, whilst a hint of jazz creeps surprisingly, though entirely logically, into the traditional ‘Slave’s Lament’. The result is an album as fresh as an act whose name translates as sunshine, but with enormous appeal for traditionalists.

NORMAN CHALMERS
Respected Scottish singers Barbara Dymock and Christine Kydd have characterful and contrasting voices that beautifully combine in their first album as a duo.

Dymock's bodhran and Kydd's guitar (with delicately mixed and understated piano/guitar from producer Michael Marra) are used as sparing accompaniment to a collection of mainly traditional Scots songs in harmony. They also include some swing gospel and Americana, but it's their strong Scots expression in As I Was A Wandring and Marra's superb Mother Glasgow that most impresses.

David Kidman - THE LIVING TRADITION
Sinsheen (Scots for sunshine, brightness or cheerfulness) is the name given – entirely aptly – to the duo comprising Barbara Dymock & Christine Kydd, two well-established Scottish singers with a solid pedigree (Barbara was the original vocalist with Ceolbeg, while Christine has sung with Chantan and Janet Russell) who have an enviably symbiotic working relationship that shines gloriously through in this their debut recording. Here they present a charmingly spicy collection that boldly brings together a host of traditional Scottish material (including, fittingly, a healthy quotient of songs both by and associated with Burns) which they’ve gleefully reworked, along with a canny and quite personal choice of contemporary songs, in which respect (although to a varying degree) there’s distinct kinship with similarly eclectically-inclined ensembles such as Grace Notes and the Silly Sisters (Prior and Tabor); bridges between the traditional and the contemporary are built as naturally as breathing.
Sinsheen’s CD is itself equally aptly titled, for it gives a real lift to one’s day, and not only in the more rousing moments like the gospel number Canaan’s Land and a wonderfully forthright rendition of Walter Robinson’s Harriet Tubman. Everywhere the ladies’ singing just oozes Life; the overwhelming feeling you get is that they really enjoy what they’re doing and they mean every word and nuance, and the result, captured in telling detail by the disc’s producer Michael Marra, is unstintingly fresh and invigorating.
Although Sinsheen sing mostly in acappella mode, they’re not averse to employing where necessary a little instrumental backing. This entails Christine’s nimble but straightforwardly unfussy guitar playing on five songs (their version of Loch Lomond is a particular delight) and a modicum of percussion from Barbara on three, while the good Mr Marra takes to the piano for two tracks including Sinsheen’s brilliantly idiomatic take on his own satirical chanson Mother Glasgow.
I guess you might term Sinsheen’s performances old-fashioned, but not in any pejorative sense – rather that they represent good honest folk singing, sung from the heart and with a true understanding of the words, given settings where any accompaniments are provided for what they can add to the expression of the songs rather than as convenient vehicles for showing off instrumental skills. And the ladies’ keen ear for contrast comes with the disc’s judicious sequencing: it opens and closes especially beguilingly with As I Was A Wand’ring and Farewell To Tarwathie respectively, between which we encounter the altogether livelier adventures of Martinmas Time, Weary Waiting, and the innuendo-laden Cooper o’Cuddy Set. The whole disc is a triumph of unison and harmony singing, and is guaranteed to live up to its name. David Kidman

Garden Sessions
Loch Lomond, though appropriated by Runrig in their soft rock epic, should not be considered synonymous with pissed Scots and pseudo-Scots bouncing around at New Year. The origins of this much abused song can be traced to romanticized story of two Jacobite brothers who were held captive, one of whom (the elder or the younger depending on who's version you listen to), gave his life to ensure his brother's freedom.
Sinsheen's version restores much of the original sense of dignity and pride which should rightly be associated with such an emotive chapter of Scotland's history. The sadness which Barbara Dimmock and Christine Kidd infused into an alternative (and better) melody than the accepted classic paid bitter-sweet homage to the ordeal faced by the clans following the destruction of the Jacobite rebellion at Culloden.
When the duo choose material such as this to interpret there can be little argument that they are Scotland's answer to the Silly Sisters. They are undoubtedly the queens of Scottish folk harmony vocals.
I thoroughly enjoyed the vast majority of Sinsheen's set, with many fresh offerings from the Burns cannon, and a beautifully moving song about whaling from the wonderfully named George Scroggy. The versatility of the duo is showcased in their classic version of Kanan's Land, within which they slip into the Bluegrass genre with consummate ease.
Throughout, the hallmark of their performance is stirring, effortless and varied harmonies and economic accompaniment on guitar (Kidd) and Bodhran (Dimmock) which does not overpower or detract from two lovely voices which naturally work in harmony without seeming forced.
The duo even managed to deal with the acoustics of Festival Folk at the Oak - bottles smashing outside, tour guides leading ghost seekers up Robertson's Close under the window - without becoming flustered or losing their professional composure.
A must see!