Link to Living Tradition Homepage





RUSTY SHACKLE - The Raven, The Thief & The Hangman 

RUSTY SHACKLE - The Raven, The Thief & The Hangman 
Get Folked Records 

This is the fourth album from the five-piece folk-rock band from South Wales, and marks a departure from most of their other recordings in that, here, they mostly eschew their own songwriting to offer an album of folk songs (with only one from their own pen). There are lots of songs you know (Hanging Johnny, Sam Hall, The Holy Ground, Coorie Doon, etc) but they are most definitely not as you know them! All have been given new tunes, and all are pretty unrecognisable.

The band members spent time researching various folk songs that have been passed down for generations, and have re-packaged them, writing new tunes in their own style inspired by what they had found and, in their words, “blurring the boundaries of folk music”. The music (played mostly on acoustic and electric guitars and drums, with the occasional bit of fiddle/banjo) is very accomplished, very modern in style, and, if you like folk-rock with the emphasis more firmly on the rock elements, makes for a good listening experience. But all semblance of the traditional background from which the songs have come has pretty much disappeared. For some, this won’t be a problem and they will be pleased to see these songs being interpreted anew and showcased to a new generation. For me, I think I’d rather my folk music sounded at least a little bit folky, so this isn’t an album I’m likely to reach for again, I’m afraid.

Fiona Heywood

Secure On-line mailorder service
Many CDs we review are available from The Listening Post.
Check to see if this CD is available.

The Listening Post is the CD mailorder service of The Living Tradition magazine.
This album was reviewed in Issue 128 of The Living Tradition magazine.