Basco are a Danish folk band with a string of albums under their belt. Interesting Times is their aptly-named latest offering.
Ale Carr (cittern), Andrea Tophoj (violin, viola), Hal Parfitt-Murray (violin mandolin, vocals) and Anders Ringgaard Andersen (accordion, trombone) make up the band.
The opening track is a tune - The Way of the Flesh - a brooding piece with an edge of menace that captures your attention immediately. I was struck by the clever arrangement.
The blend of violin/viola, cittern, violin mandolin and accordion working together quite beautifully.
Patrick Spens - one of two songs on the album - tells the tale of a king sitting in Dunfermline who orders a captain to sail over to Norway to bring his new bride home. But I'm afraid it doesn't go well.
Friendly Neighbour is a fast-paced tune with Scottish influence to the fore, followed a lovely slower tune The Snitch, with some beautiful violin. Roses in the Vase is another flowing tune as is It Ain't Stealing (if It's Really Yours) with the cittern really coming through.
Norwegian Red is a gentle accordion-based tune that is brought together by the whole band
The lilting song The Three Mothers tells of the futility of war. Two more tunes - The Tesla Waltz/A Flat in Berlin - and The Diplomat's Lament - bring this quality album to a close.
The musicality of this band shines through across the entire album. If you love Scottish and Irish music, then this is one polished outfit that should be on your list.
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