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THE EAST POINTERS - Secret Victory

THE EAST POINTERS - Secret Victory
Private Label EPCD15

A trio of young Canadians announce themselves with a foot-stomping, barnstorming array of 10 tracks – all self-penned. A banjo masterclass from Koady Chaisson, at times exquisite, always highly skilled and intricate, is a key feature throughout. Alongside him, Tim Chaisson, his cousin, is equally accomplished on violin – Places You’ll Go being a good example. Together their skilful playing forms the heart and soul of this debut album. Jake Charron is the third group member, ably supporting the duo on guitar.

Influenced by the Scots and Irish folk traditions, The East Pointers’ music is nevertheless contemporary, bridging the old and the new. A high-paced album, the tracks always offer sufficient variety to prevent any sense of ‘sameness’. A strong and irresistible rhythmic beat is often in evidence, for instance on Meals By Maurice and Queen Street Cobbler.

Although the focus is very much on tunes, three songs are included, all the group members plus Chris Kirby and Patrick Ballantyne being given writing credits. Here the tempo is slower, and plaintive vocals lean towards almost a pop-style. Cold is especially attractive. There are even some hints of Mumford and Sons.

The East Pointers deliver a rousing and refreshing album, and a ‘must’ for all banjo fans. Secret Victory combines a high level of musicianship, with the excitement and vitality of youth. If the group can replicate this mixture in live performances, they will be worth seeing. As it is, their album is a stimulating and enjoyable listen.

Jim McCourt

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This album was reviewed in Issue 110 of The Living Tradition magazine.