Virgil & The Accelerators are a trio comprising Virgil McMahon on vocals and guitar, his brother, Gabriel, on drums and Jack Timmis on bass guitar and keyboards. The title of the album refers to The Radium Beer Hall in South Africa where the very young Virgil witnessed his father playing the blues. By the age of nine, he was already showing considerable promise as he emulated the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan. At the age of twelve, he was invited to jam with Otis Grand and earned himself a standing ovation. This is a splendid album by a highly accomplished young trio.
Despite the Swedish label for which this disc was recorded, and despite the Swedish origins of the group's leader, the Dowland Consort is English. It has a lot of competition in the realm of instrumental music by John Dowland, but less so for the seven linked pieces that open the program, based on the material used in the famous lute song Seven Teares. (This disc was originally recorded in 1985.) These seven pieces (and the pair of sevens would have had deep significance for Dowland's audience) are unique in Renaissance instrumental music.
Swedish DJ Avicii is a strange case. In 2011, he broke through with "Levels," a bleepy and bright bit of EDM that could have been his signature hit, but then his 2013 album, True, was a country-pop and folk-inspired affair that thrilled his fans with its inventiveness, but left others as cold as a meandering Mumford & Sons remix effort. Two years later, his LP Stories is another genre-busting affair that fits in better with mainstream radio than it does the club, but everything iffy about True has been perfected here, as the producer revisits the song-oriented album and lets the outside genres freely come and go.