The Headington HillbilliesThe Headington Hillbillies
Album: The Promised Land
Label: Self Released
Tracks: 9

High expectations of a band comprising a rhythm section of banjo, fiddle, mandolin, harmonica, and guitars led by singer/songwriter Howard 'Woody' Taylor. On CD a collection of eight musicians with fine credentials, whole band collaborating with Peggy Seeger, Alan Fowler having worked with Bert Jansch and drums of Andy Crisp who also provides harmonica, instrument learnt from Mick Jagger. Line-up complemented by guitar of Graham Hooper, additional harmony vocals of Liz Taylor, Caterina Comeglio and Holly Taylor.

The addition of Red Mule Jefferson on banjo has reputation both of fun, the other best left unsaid, bringing a story telling element to the fore.

'Cheat The Reaper' attempting to halt wild times of whiskey and champagne. Salvation without remorse on 'Freedom Train' both recall tales from Red and life in the hills of Southern California, region that includes parts of Greater Los Angeles and Greater San Diego among it's 8 US states.

Appearance of slide guitar on 'Crossfire' thrown into the heady mix of fun and frolics, while 'How Green Are You' offers comment on the disposal attitude of modern living. 'Haleluyah' warranted immediate second listen just to make sure I had not misheard the scam going on.

Foot-stomping collection of acoustic originals in the tradition of country rock and into the pot a good measure of British punk result with several residencies in a vibrant music scene. Repaying the band with loyal audience acknowledged in 'Going To Town' with it's name-checks of fellow musicians, regular punters and venues.

On the cards, a journey to Oxford. Often described as the City Of Dreaming Spires and no less glamorous than LA, further inclination if needed to book your seat to The Promised Land.

Tony Wilding