FolkWords Reviews

‘Fuel’ from 4 Square - a unique combination of both delicacy and robustness

(March 21, 2016)

Folk-fusion is a much-used couplet, occasionally inaccurately. Sometimes unions described as such are more forced than they should be and more hammered together than the result of synthesis. Not so with 4 Square because their blend styles and mix of fuel from 4 squareinstruments moves across genres with a faultless, calm assurance. Their latest release ‘Fuel’ builds squarely (pun intended) on their previous album Hearth & Home’, except it takes their combination of tradition, original tunes and experimentation along with a desire to freely absorb influence from wherever they find it to a higher plane and even more accomplished level.

‘Fuel’ is certainly folk, includes jazzy influences, Latin licks and just about anything else they include to augment the overall effect, which by the way is awash with exceptional musicianship and dazzling compositions. From the opening instrumental sparkle of ‘Ignition’ through the caustic humour of ‘The Digging Song’ and a fine rendition of James Taylor’s ‘Enough To Be on Your Way’ to the contemplation of ‘Message From Cloud Nine’ and the vibrant ‘Fuel’ itself, a running river of sound sweeps around your ears and carries you along. This album displays a unique combination of both delicacy and robustness, and for my money offers that important element - durability. This is fuel that won’t run out.

4Square are Nicola Lyons (fiddle, vocals) Jim Molyneux (piano, vocals) Michael Giverin (mandolin, guitar, vocals) and Dan Day (percussion, vocals, ukulele) and you will find them here: www.4squaremusic.co.uk

Review: Tim Carroll

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