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KERFUFFLE - Lighten the Dark

Lighten the Dark
Rootbeat Records RBRCD08.

One of my favourite albums over the past few years has been Kerfuffle’s, To the Ground, their 2007 release. And their appearance at Crawley Folk Festival in 2008 blew me away. Their playing and singing seemed to belie their youth – how could a band so young be this good? Then I discovered that they had already been playing together for 6 years and had released 4 previous albums.

Lighten the Dark, described as a midwinter album, comprises eleven - mainly English - carols, four of which were collected by Cecil Sharp.  We have here many well-known songs, including Three Ships, Cherry Tree Carol, The Holly and the Ivy and Gower Wassail.

Great playing by all and singing by Hannah James, with Sam Sweeney (now also of Bellowhead) on various instruments. With Jamie Roberts on guitars and Tom Sweeney on bass, the band always come up with imaginative arrangements. You may have already heard several of the songs, but not like this.

Another excellent performance and again produced by Andy Bell and the band. Not a great deal of information on the sleeve, but not a problem given the well-known nature of the material. A lovely album – and certainly one to play as the darker evenings arrive.

George Dow

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