I'm not into folk music big time but with these, their related form of Bellowhead and Seth Lakeman, this is turning a little. Saw them perform Captains Ward on BBC late one night on a Glastonbury show and haven't looked back once I got this album.
The album is mostly a selection of traditional (very old) English Folk songs they've picked out. The songs are general uplifting, have a sense of humour, pretty or a combination of these. This is not the misery, navel gazing, waling/talking folk of 10/20 years ago. At the risk of putting some people off think fun, morris dancing tunes, sea shanties and sweet tunes.
They're accomplished musicians and the sound is amazing for just the two people coming from melodeon (squeezy box things), violin or guitar, piece of wood (stomping boot there on) and vocals. The quality comes from their choice of songs, how well they play and how well their playing complements each other.
I like the foot stompers best so maybe trading a slower song for another foot stomper would have given it better balance for me. But I still love the album.
Slower powerful tune and story. Violin
Birth of Robin Hood
A delicate and pretty song with some lovely guitar playing by Jon. Shame the title gives the story away!
My favourite track, foot stomping driven sea shanty. Great use of a wellington boot for stomping on the BBC footage (on their website). The fellas realy are together to drive the song on. Violin mode.
A bruding swaying song, almost Rob Roy sound track ish at the start then gaining pace. John's melodeon leads this song. Guitar swapped for Violin later on.
Delicate love song,, Jon's voice is promenent. Slow sad but with pretty playing. Nice one to send you to go to sleep too (that a good thing). Violin.
Speed the plough/ Princess Royal
Very much a morris dancing like fun song. Builds to a great foot stomper. Violin
Perhaps my least favourite on the album but still a good slower song that gets better in the second half. Melodeon and violin playing working well together.
Feels a bit French this one with the melodeon playing. Nice flowing tune. I think there's violin in this one. Sometimes they complement each other to well!
The Rain it Rains
My second favourite song on the album, helped by its association with a rained out all night mountain bike event. Not that fasts but a pretty song. Violin.
Sweet little song to finish. I've started so may as well finish...guitar.
This album has lead to getting all their albums (Tunes probably my favourite), all Bellowheads (funky fun folk combo of 11/ 13 musicians Spiers and Boden also perform with) and seeing both live. I guess you could say I'm a fan and would recommend they. Opps, I have gone on a bit.