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Sungrazing Records SGR003

Only two years on from the release of their groundbreaking first album (Before The Sun), the adventure continues with another spellbinding collection of songs, mostly self-penned, and delivered in their unique acoustic style.

One of the highlights is a song taken from Mermaid Avenue, the album of previously unheard Woody Guthrie words put to music by Billy Bragg (Way Over Yonder In The Minor Key) which is given an atmospheric treatment here that is in no small part due to the purity of the voice of Hannah Sanders. An interesting traditional (indeed cowboy hoe down) song here included is Santa Fe Trail, which features a chorus of the assembled cast. Although the supporting musicians are all integral to the total effect, they do not dominate the core vocal and instrumental contributions of Sanders and Savage. The guitar style of Ben Savage has elements of his myriad influences, including primarily Bert Jansch and with elements of Martin Simpson and even Pete Seeger banjo motifs. Incidentally, Seeger’s 1966 song, One Grain Of Sand (originally unaccompanied but given a respectful arrangement here), is another highlight. Of their own compositions, the title track is probably the most commercial, particularly in the light of the multi-tracked vocals, but they are all worthy of attention. All things considered, this is a perfect showcase of this talented pair, and bodes well for the future. Thumbs up from me.

Grem Devlin

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This album was reviewed in Issue 124 of The Living Tradition magazine.