|Dimensions||21 × 15 × 1 cm|
CD Review by Jane Bower
Penny Boys (lead vocals, percussion), Cathy Bell (vocals, fiddle, accordion) and Andrew Heath (guitar, mandolin).
The Poachers, so named because much of their material is unapologetically poached from the vast catalogue of traditional and contemporary folk, are a three piece band based in Queensland.
Their self-titled CD, ‘The Poachers’, was first released in 2000 four years after the band was formed.
The tracks cover mostly traditional, contemporary and original material and the variety holds the attention of the listener to the very last song.
Both female band members offer an original track with insightful lyrics and pleasing melody in the style of Celtic traditional music.
There are three traditional songs and all are given a fresh interpretation with Bell’s creative fiddle playing embellishing the basic melody.
The only instrumental track comprises of two reels, ‘Mist on the Mountain’ and ‘The Millbrae’, and the latter is an opportunity for Andrew Heath to showcase his guitar playing skills.
However, it is Henry Lawson’s, ‘Scots of the Riverina’, set to music composed by Hugh McDonald, that is the most moving.
Penny Boys’ rendition delivers the sentiment of Lawson’s poem without melodrama but understated clarity and the listener is left confronted with the poignancy of the father’s treatment of his son.
A high level of musicianship is evident on every track with attention to the clarity and balance of each contributing instrument.
The vocals are foremost, not usurped by flashy instrumentation and the lyrics always effortlessly followed and understood.
It is easy to see why The Poachers have been chosen to perform as support band for international folk acts and played the festival circuit in Australia.
In 2012 they produced a CD of contemporary Australian, UK and USA folk songs ‘Back in the Woods’.
‘The Poachers’ may have been recorded twenty years ago but it still has a freshness and timeless quality that appeals to followers of the folk music genre.
3 in stock (can be backordered)