STYLE: Roots/Acoustic RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 171399-27036 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
In my original draft of this review I spoke about this superb band from Harrogate being in the decades long tradition of follk roots bands/artists engaging with audiences, both Christian and non-Christian. But folk roots is, in retrospect, an innapropriate description. The term I've now using to describe their fine album is 'progressive Americana' where element of prog rock are skillfully fused with some touches of Americana (catch the great banjo here and there). Led by singer, guitarist and songwriter Paul Mirfin ,these guys have emerged onto the scene easily as good as bulk of the star names today clamouring for streaming attention. After being featured on Songs Of Praise in 2016 and getting radio exposure on both Christian and non-Christian radio, the band were ready for a bells and whistles launch and deliver magnificently with this dazzling debut. Paul's husky, emotive voice exhorts us to walk the walk on the title track - "Walk down ancient roads/The roads paved with gold" he sings over a kick drum dominated bluesy accompaniment which sounds like something Steve Earl might record if he ever got saved. Then there's "The Fighter" with its memorable Trinitarian lines, "Well, there's one of you/And there's three of me/Come on and fight." Or there's the delicate acoustic-driven "Trust In The Silence" which is as haunting an intimate worship song as you're likely to hear this year. Remember the name. You'll be hearing a lot more of these Yorkshire mens' slant on American country porch music in the years ahead. I've ammended this review in January 2019 so I can say this with confidence 'Ancient Roads' is the best debut album I've ever heard, the production by John Shepherd and George Oliver Tyreman is top rate...oh, and the sleeve is good as well. Here's hoping they get to release it on vinyl!
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