‘Wayfarers All’ from Green Diesel - folk rock with an innovative, confident singular edge(August 05, 2014)
English folk rock has over the years acquired enough heritage to attain ‘classic’ status. To find a fine example of the genre, you need go no further than ‘Wayfarers All’ from Green Diesel, brand new but in the way of certain folk rock albums, destined to become a classic. Mixing self-penned with trad arr plus a couple of covers, this album more than lives up to the promise offered by its predecessor, ‘Now Is The Time’. This time however, there’s more depth, a richer, stronger sound coupled with a tangible sense of increased confidence. Clearly at home with their command of the genre, Green Diesel deliver folk rock with an innovative yet confident singular edge.
Naturally, the essential ingredients remain - walloping percussion and pounding bass, rocking guitar breaks, overlaid with innovative and exciting washes and accents of violin, mandolin, dulcimer and accordion. And of course there’s still the intensely recognisable vocals and harmonies. The soul of English folk rock, and oodles of soul infuses this music, lives and breathes through ‘Wayfarers All’.
Opening with a self-penned composition, offering a quick nod to an old song, ‘To Kill A King’ takes you straight into Green Diesel music, ‘The Southcliffe Jig’ follows – just to remind that they can rip out a dance tune with the best of them. With respect for tradition, there are re-worked outings for ‘Mad Tom of Bedlam’ and ‘Oak, Ash and Thorn’ and then they brew up the powerful concoction that becomes ‘A Fisherman, Once’ – this is a formidable song that harnesses the folk rock drive into a darker moody place. They prove the depth of their instrumental work with the thoughtful expression of ‘Minoorne Labajalg’, an illustration of considerable musical dexterity, while ‘Drive The Cold Winter Away’ serves up more archetypal substance, complete with tasty guitar licks.
Green Diesel are Ellen Care (violin, lead vocals) Jon Biron (button accordion, mandolin) Matt Dear (lead guitar, vocals) Ben Holliday (bass guitar, double bass, vocals) Colin Ireland (drums, percussion, vocals) and Greg Ireland (guitar, mandolin, dulcimer, banjo, vocals) with Roger Cotton (keyboards).
You can find Green Diesel here: www.greendiselfolk.com, and ‘Wayfarers All’ will, as that dreamer of old ways and memories, Kenneth Grahame once wrote: “… leave you with a store of goodly memories for company.”
Reviewer: Tim Carroll