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WE BANJO 3 - Haven 

WE BANJO 3 - Haven 
Private Label WB3CD005 

With a foot in both the folk and country camps, the Banjo fellas could be described as something of an enigma.  This album shows a high degree of ability in both spheres and plenty to engage the attention of those not too fussy about labels. 

For those unfamiliar with the operation, you may be surprised to find that there are four full time band members, not three - two sets of brothers. This helps them to provide a bigger sound than you might otherwise expect. Furthermore, they write songs in the idiom of straight-down-the-line country music, getting closest to their declared Irish roots when they become a purely instrumental operation. That is when the combination of banjo, guitar and mandolin works its magic, to say nothing of a full brass section at times, on tracks like Annabelle's Cannon. It is the addition of the brass instruments in the second half of this particular track that provides outstanding vigour and will appeal to more of a roots audience in comparison to their vocal tracks.  Where the vocals share centre-stage with the instrumentals, there are still some delectable harmonies, such as on the track, Sunflower

This band has a rare old reputation as a live act in the States and it is not difficult to picture how effective their outstanding instrumental prowess must be in that setting. I detect some of their songs growing on me, as well.

Dave Hadfield

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This album was reviewed in Issue 126 of The Living Tradition magazine.