After listening to Gavin Davenport's 'From the Bone Orchard' I feel compelled to write something. I had to pore over the folder, sniff the packaging, and absorb the great graphics and illustration before I could listen to the disk. So what impression does it leave? The first impression is powerful and striking. He's created a 'classic lineup' on this album which I hope he'll maintain. The production is flawless, the arrangements imaginative and remarkable and the band is full and rich without ever sounding over-stuffed or woolly. Every part earns its keep so the whole is much more than the sum of its parts. Not something you find too often these days. 'Bone Orchard' is a marvelous and complete piece of art and it's not been since the days of vinyl that I've been able to say that of an album.
Truth be told, although I spent many a happy year in a Morris side, I've never been a big fan of folk music as such. Nevertheless, I feel that this album really extends the genre in a very sincere way, embracing each tale and expanding the atmosphere while the running order has obviously been given careful consideration so the whole collection hangs together as a complete work really nicely. Rooted in a rich tradition, tracks like `Fair Rosamund' in particular are delightfully unsettling! You will be as surprised as I was to learn that is only his second album. The quality of this disk sounds like like something from an older artist with a much longer track record. It's a very mature CD both in content and quality and I feel we can expect extraordinary things. To say that it's full of future promise sounds patronising because, without a doubt, `From the Bone Orchard' can certainly stand with the best already yet, if this is where Gavin Daveport is currently as a collector and artist then I, for one, look forward to following his work in the future! I haven't heard folk done in this rich and expansive way before but maybe that's a flaw in my education; I can only speak as I find and I find 'From the Bone Orchard' a deeply absorbing and frequently uplifting album. It carries a very individual watermark and I expect future releases from Gavin Davenport will be immediately identifiable.