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The recording history of the Urban Folk Quartet shows how highly they value the immediacy of the live performance. Three of their six albums now have been 'live' - this is the third – and they demonstrate convincingly that there is nothing wrong with their way of doing things.

With all due respect to two fine fiddlers, the elements that leap out at me from this CD are the banjo of Dan Walsh and the extraordinary percussion beaten out by Tom Chapman. Those of us who bemoaned the end of Walsh's partnership with harmonica wizard Will Pound need not have worried about him finding a satisfying outlet for his expertise on a much-maligned instrument. He sounds great in this setting, never more so than when he leads the Quartet into a closing set of tunes. It's real whoop and holler stuff and it fills the role of a good live recording in making you wish you'd been there.

Chapman's contribution, often on the cajon – the box, originally from Peru, that can speak several different languages in the hands of a master – stirs similar enthusiasm, as well as setting up a Latin counterpoint with the work of Paloma Trigas.

The musicianship is excellent across the board; but the man on South America's answer to the bodhrán – get him installed immediately in the Folk Music Percussionists' Hall of Fame, alongside Dave Mattacks, Terry Cox, Pete Flood, Johnny Kalsi, Gary Hammond of The Hut People and the select ranks of other members in good standing. Give it a listen; you'll believe a box can talk.

Dave Hadfield

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This album was reviewed in Issue 117 of The Living Tradition magazine.