Review Archive

Jez Hellard and The Djukella Orchestra - latest album ‘Blood & Honey’

(May 01, 2012)

Jez Hellard and The Djukella Orchestra use their latest album ‘Blood & Honey’ to deliver their ‘free-Blood and Honeyranging’ take on tradition mixed with an inventive style of contemporary – this is eclectic folk if ever there was any. And it’s a fusion that’s striking as well as absorbing. The blend slides along its twisting path gathering the ‘trad. arr.’ of ‘The Saucy Sailor’, a harmonica-driven stomp of Rory McLeod’s ‘Miner’s Picket Dance’ and the piercingly sharp lyrics of ‘Mercenaries’ along the way.

This album purveys a particular brand of folk that confines itself to no barriers amalgamating that which works no matter from where. No doubt about it Jez can play a harmonica, deliver a song, drive a blistering guitar and along with his fellow musicians dispense ‘leap and hop dance tunes’ with ‘Catharsis’ and ‘Luther/The Last Straw’. And along the way you’ll appreciate that Jez has one of those voices that hooks your ear – listen to Woody Guthrie’s simply-delivered ‘Remember The Mountain Bed’ to hear what I mean, while another ‘trad.arr.’ ‘Bonnie Black Hare’ again reflects his engaging vocal style.

On ‘Blood & Honey’ the talent joining Jez (guitar, harmonica, vocals) includes Jordan Kostov (accordion)  Nye Parsons (double bass) Zoe Moffat (violin) Cam Neufeld (violin) Tim Palmer (violin) Ben Coulthard (percussion) Matthew Ord (guitar) and Andrew Smith (percussion).

If you take your folk infusion wide, varied and without restraint then you’re going to love this. Jump in and let the current sweep you along.

Reviewer: Dan Holland

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