Raising the Bar
Distinctive ‘modernised’ folk – similar to the experimentation of Sam Lee, though not as expansive, and heavied-up at times like Trembling Bells, but not as adamant in that direction – the core duo of Jim Morey and Sam Carter serve up traditional folk here with additional arrangements that never range too far from the roots but enough to be genuinely adorning. Opener The Wife of Ushers Well explores most through vocal manipulations that are both choric and speed-changed, this over the folk-faithful singing of the song. Third The Banks of Newfoundland is essentially an electrified rendition, guitar as loud leader here, and the harmonies sounding as secure as Crowded House. Fourth Screwball begins with guitar feedback, a rocked-up delivery of the, again, very traditional folk song structure, and continues at a brash pace and volume. There is authentic and virtuoso instrumental zest from the whole band for fifth The Chartlesworth Hornpipe, and sixth The Indian’s Petition is a sweetly sung folk gem. Tennyson’s death-presaging poem Crossing the Bar gets a hymn-like presentation to close with organ backing, the words delivered with the clarity its bold lament deserves, and it ends on a rousing repetition supported by rising horns and other. An excellent album.
Crossing the Bar
Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.
Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;
For though from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.