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Take Your Own Roads
Fellside Recordings FECD227

This trio have come such a long way since I reviewed their Fellside debut in 2006. They’re so much tighter as a unit. Great harmonies, nice instrumental arrangements (guitar / bouzouki / double bass / percussion mainly) and confident song writing, shared pretty much equally between the three. I love the variety on this album – modern themes (When You Come Home Again [modern warfare], Top Dog [credit crunch]), ancient legends brought up to date (No Pardon [old Navy scandal], Sauntering Ned [character story]) and just plain and simple atmospheric pieces (The Milehouse/Breakfast at Tebay).

The significant guest contributions are from Nancy Kerr (fiddle/viola) and Brian Peters (melodeon), but mostly the tracks feature the concise contributions of the three main men, under the stewardship of Paul Adams, Fellside’s foundation, as ever, in the engine room. Other massive improvements include a superb website (the old one was so depressing) and a well-packaged product that has all the information you need and none of the dross you can do without.

Now if somebody can just get them to smile when having their picture took we’d have a complete package! Minor points – the songs are great. In the title song a father urges his itinerant son to take his own road in life. I reckon this three have chosen the right one without a doubt. A cursory glance at the festival listings is testament to their popularity, and I look forward to catching them myself somewhere over the summer. A band that have finally come of age – it’s been worth the wait.

Grem Devlin

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This album was reviewed in Issue 85 of The Living Tradition magazine.