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Wednesday
Sep082010

Southern Tenant Folk Union 'The New Farming Scene' JohnnyRock

On there new album, with a revised line-up, this acoustic band draw as much from traditional folk songs that were at the heart of the music that became bluegrass in America as from the original songs. Songs written in the main by Pat McGarvey who has been central to the band and its development since they founded. A former member of the Coal Porters this project is darker and rooted in the life of working communities. McGarvey's banjo is the key and leading instrument on many of these songs. Previously they were seen as a bluegrass styled band but here the folk tradition of parts of the UK would seem to be a viable influence. The acapella Those Little Grains Of Sand would be a case in point. Indeed the vocals are a vital and primary component of the music here. It always has , of course but here it seems to have become earthier and less tied to a outside source. A direct tie to the land is expressed in songs Like TA9. This is undoubtably the best album they have produced and one where they further their own identity and sound. The album was recorded in a more spontaneous setting which gives the music an edge a vibrancy that is both simple and ruggedly realistic. A new play for today. The musical skills of these musicians many who have come from a legacy of folk bands is never in doubt. Rather it is a potent mix of all the elements that brings together numerous strand in a potent whole. I may be a dark whole but its is one that resonates.

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