Snappy modern folk that never forgets its roots.
It’s been a long trek for Pilgrims’ Way whose previous album, WAYSIDE COURTESIES, came out in 2011. Now that singer Lucy Wright has finished her PhD they’re back; producer Jon Loomes joins to make the northern live folkie favourites (you have to be lively to support Oysterband) bigger and better. I haven’t counted but it’s claimed that they play 40 instruments between them, which considering that Wright sticks to Jews harp and fiddle , and fiddler Tom Kitchen only branches out on mandolin and viola, that leaves an awful lot for Loomes and Edwin Beasant, everything from melodeon to electric guitar, tubular bells to trumpet.
The result is very English but with a pop sensibility, mostly traditional tunes, although Paul Simon’s boisterous Boy In A Bubble is turned into a haunting ballad thanks to Wright’s frail vocals while the Incredible String Band’s Chinese White is repurposed as the charming Magic Christmas Tree.
Imaginative and capable of bringing folk to a wider audience – and with every possibility that the band will expand their horizons even further.