‘The Oyster Girl’ Tim Jones & The Dark Lanterns - wholly deserving of a place in English folk(April 18, 2016)
There’s no doubt about their heritage ... Tim Jones and the Dark Lanterns could come from no other place on this planet than England. Often bemoaned by its so-called continuous demise, pure English folk is alive and thriving in the hands of Tim and his musical cronies and their EP ‘The Oyster Girl’. A band and a recording wholly deserving of a place in English folk. The single complaint one can muster about the EP is there are only four tracks ... ‘it’s too short and it’s over too soon’.
The self-penned songs carry that indefinable yet easily identifiable mark of English tradition and following many songs of that custom, are finely crafted narratives. The EP opens with ‘The Oyster Girl’ a melodious homage to the narrowboat and as Ratty said: "... there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” From there, the roistering ‘The Aberdare Drinking Song’ relates being ‘dead drunk’ and dodging the law, and a fine romp is had by all, next the more mournful ‘Sally Brown’ takes the part of a young field worker enduring the loss of her love and recalling his parting words, while ‘A Distance To Be Travelled’ echoes the passing of company, setting off on travels and aching for the parting ... an incredibly moving song.
So ‘The Oyster Girl’ is an EP well worth its salt ... when comes the next album?
Tim Jones and The Dark Lanterns are Tim Jones (vocals, guitar) Melissa Smith (mandolin, vocals) Ted Kemp (Anglo concertina, vocals) ) and Karen Phillips (fiddle, accordion) find them here: cottonmillrecords.co.uk/pages/darklanterns
Review: Tim Carroll