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Reviews

The Often Herd The Often Herd
Album: The Often Herd
Label: Self Released
Tracks: 6
Website: http://www.theoftenherd.com

Their name a playful answer to The Seldom Scene, Guitarist Rupert Hughes, mandolinst player Evan Davies, double bass player Sam Quintana and ex-pat American Niles Krieger on fiddle comprise this North East based bluegrass quartet. This marks their debut, a balance of three self-penned tracks and three covers, the former kicking it off with Hughes taking lead on the sprightly 'Cool Summer Rain', also stepping up to the mark for the musically different 'Debt To The King' which weaves some gypsy fiddle colours around the banjo. The other original is Ruined Road, written and sung by the deeper-voiced Davies and of a folksier troubadour inclination.

Two of the covers are traditional, the first being the lively, jazz-tinged, fiddle-led instrumental 'Cattle In The Cane' and the other, again showcasing Krieger and Davies, is the 1920s skiffle shanty 'Sail Away', better known as 'Sail Away, Ladies' or, more often, in a rework of the refrain and a different lyric, as 'Don't You Rock Me, Daddy-Oh', popularised in 1957 by The Vipers and Lonnie Donegan. Completing the set is a bluegrass mandolin chugging arrangement of Dylan's 'You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go', making up a package that, while there's still some work to be done on bolstering the vocals, most certainly affords them welcome membership to the UK's burgeoning bluegrass scene.

Mike Davies