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Bebop Spoken There

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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

CD Review: Peg Powler Band - Northern Lines

(Review by Ann Alex).
I’ve been given special dispensation by Blogmaster Lance to review this folk music CD on BSH. We encountered this excellent band when we dropped by the Prohibition Bar on the Friday of the GIJF, and, after chatting with the band, were given a review copy.
The songs are all originals except for one traditional number (Katie Cruel) and they have the distinction of being immediately memorable and accessible, with strong hooks to draw in the listener, and themes not a million miles away from many a blues number.

There are tales of female murderers (Mary Ann Cotton), the dangers of the working life (Spend Your Money Quick), about the hazards of working in a munitions factory during WW2; love songs (The Crying Song) which has lines familiar to jazzers about crying a river. I loved Emily Said, which concerned the 19thC American poet Emily Dickinson, who wrote some 1800 poems but was unappreciated in her lifetime. The title Northern Lines is illustrated by the CD cover which shows a derelict railway station and many of the songs refer to Teesside, where the band presumably hail from.
The track Old Northern Line tells about the railway line through time, where lovers have met, industry has died, the land is scarred, which evokes the post-industrial present. This track naturally has train rhythms and percussion swishes to remind us of the days of steam.
The instrumentation is appropriate and skilfully done, with wonderful fiddle-playing, sensitive drums and skilled guitar. The titles of the tracks not yet mentioned are: Peg Powler (another wicked female); Wildfire; Everybody Wants To Be; Don’t Be Afraid; Go Tell The Fisherman’s Daughter; A Ballad Of Swords And Shields; Swallow Song.
This band deserves to be better known among folkies, and it is highly recommended for folk-loving jazz fans as well.
The music was released on July 2, 2016 on Time &Tide records and is available for streaming and download. Link.

Ann Alex
Ian Bartholomew (guitar, lead and backing vocals); Sara Dennis (Ukulele, lead and backing vocals); Mags Forward (fiddle, backing vocals); David Pratt (drums, perc, backing vocals); All songs arranged by the band and (except 1) written by Bartholomew and Dennis. Also one song by Pratt and Bartholomew. Chris Davison (bass guitar on 3 tracks).

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