On their duet records, John Renbourn and Stefan Grossman meet on the common turf of American blues and Celtic fiddle tunes and airs. Under The Volcano is collection of seven duets, including an extended four-part work for which the album is named, and one solo by each of the players, the album has what has come to be the characteristic sound of the duo. Reflecting what Stefan quite accurately describes as "an interweaving of styles," it is quite difficult, and somewhat pointless, to tell which of the two is playing the lead in most parts of the album. The original compositions are at once down-home and high-flown, brimming with contrapuntal funkiness, and the music manages to sound both loose and precise.
Grossman and Renbourn contribute equally to the composition and arrangement of the traditional material. They aren't uptight about overdubbing or using the occasional electric guitar texture, either. But the lingering impression is one of crisp, snapping strings and air being moved by wooden-boxed guitars.
•"The material is a mix of traditional and original, the playing superb. Grossman and Renbourn combine their talents and mix of styles here to produce appealing instrumental music of rare beauty and taste." - AllMusic