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Private Label MBR003 

Given the name of the album – the band’s third – it is no surprise that this is a project with a strong sense of place. As the title track has it, “when all is said and done, I’m part of this land, and this land is part of me”.

The group is part of the Moonbeams Collective, whose stated mission is to celebrate the environment and rural life – specifically that of the Yorkshire Dales. The songs keep to this intent, often including images of nostalgia and of loss, such as children playing and empty cottages. Echoes of the sentiments of the song The Dalesman’s Litany are unsurprisingly present; the album’s tracks, The Yorkshire Tup excepted, are all originals.

The recording balance favours the singer, and if you have difficulty making out the lyrics on this CD, a consultation with an audiologist is recommended – although the lyrics are on the band’s website anyway. The focus on the song is also supported by the rather straightforward arrangements, the core instruments being guitar / bass / drums with melodic support from viola and whistle.

There is something of a late 1960s / early 1970s feel to the gentle thoughtfulness of the whole enterprise and this could help identify one audience for the album – although younger listeners should not shy away, especially if the rural / environmental themes appeal.

Paul Mansfield

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This album was reviewed in Issue 127 of The Living Tradition magazine.