Blood & Honey

by The Devil's Interval

Three musicians utterly committed to singing the traditional songs of these islands and doing so while maintaining a great sense of adventure along with an obvious enjoyment of the music and a pride in their own abilities as musicians. ......Norma Waterson and Martin Carthy MBE

The Devils Interval are: Jim Causley Lauren McCormick Emily Portman



Having previously been impressed both by Jims solo singing and Lauren and Emilys duo work, I came across the unique sound of The Devils Interval when American musician Jeff Davis played me Songlinks, a CD of transatlantically migrated traditional songs, on which he'd performed. We listened through the groups arrangement of The Cuckoo, stopped the playback and sat in stunned silence for a matter of minutes before pressing the back button and playing it over again. Their setting pulls off the seemingly impossible feat of taking an unusual version of a well-known song and treating every verse to different and highly sophisticated harmonisation, while sounding entirely natural, spontaneous and unforced. It was an approach I'd enjoyed previously from Emily and Lauren together, but the addition of Jims voice mostly taking a low baritone part, occasionally leaping up to the high tenor lent it a whole extra dimension. The performance combines roller coaster exhilaration with a thumping emotional punch: the most exciting rendition of an English folk song Id heard in years.....Brian Peters from an fRoots article.

1 Green Valley 
Trad. Arr. McCormick, Portman, Causley. 
From the inimitable singing of Chris Coe; this song got mangled up in Jim’s head together with John Kirkpatrick’s tune to Tarry Trousers. This is the monster that was spawned. The last line has become our motto for life. 


2 Silver Dagger 
Trad. Arr. McCormick, Portman, Causley. 
We like to name our sources unlike Dolly Parton, our source for this song, who failed to name her own source… Of course one can have too many condiments! It features on Dolly’s album ‘The Grass is Blue’, but there are many other versions of this widely collected traditional song, also known as Arise Arise. 


3 Studying Economy 
Trad. Arr. McCormick, Portman, Causley. 
We felt that this perfectly described our predicament as penniless students, with a penchant for spending afternoons in coffee shops and evenings in public houses. Our version is from the singing of Mabs Hall (mother of the legendary Gordon) who Emily first heard on ‘Ripest Apples’ (Veteran VT107). We were perplexed by the 

4 The Leaves of Life 
Trad. Arr. McCormick, Portman, Causley.
This Biblical story contains elements of apocryphal imagery. The rose and the fern create a landscape far removed from the Bible lands, showing how such stories become localised and thus relevant to the singers’ familiar surroundings. 
Our version comes from the wonderfully haunting singing of May Bradley, a Shropshire Traveller (Voice of the People Vol. 11). 


5 The Well Below the Valley 
Trad. Arr. McCormick, Portman, Causley.
 We first heard this song from Planxty, who made it famous. Then we heard their source and we were sold! His name was John Riley, a traveller from Co. Roscommon. Riley approached the tune with such fluidity that we decided to incorporate his variations into our version. At one time this ballad was banned in Ireland for its references to incest and infanticide; it clearly was not popular with the Catholic Church. There are many theories regarding the story within the song. We reckon the young woman in the tale is an earthbound spirit who is unaware that she is dead. The tall, dark, handsome gentleman (as we imagine him) may be the Devil in disguise, come to claim her soul… But don’t let our interpretation mar your judgement! 

6 Two Crows 
Trad. Arr. McCormick, Portman, Causley. 
Harry Adams sang The Three Crows to Bob and Jacqueline Patten in 1977 calling it ‘an old pub song’. Some people think it is related to the ancient ballad The Three Ravens (Child 26) but in our scholarly opinions we feel the connection is highly dubious! Emily folked it up a bit, added some lines and lost a crow along the way. 

7 The Bonfire Carol 
Trad. Arr. McCormick, Portman, Causley. 
After thirty years of pestering, John Swift finally gave in and sang this song down the phone to Pete Coe. Bizarrely John discovered it in a farming magazine whist waiting in a dentist surgery! Somerset folklorist and song collector Ruth Tongue regularly contributed her findings to that very magazine and apparently John was so attached to the song that he refused to pass it on to anyone, even the Young Tradition! We were fortunate enough squeeze it out of the delectable Chris Coe. The Bonfire Carol intriguingly interweaves apocryphal themes with English folklore. The Bonfire Council of Lewes in Sussex might be particularly interested in this one. 

8 A May Carol 
McCormick. Arr. McCormick, Portman, Causley. 
Lauren didn’t think there were enough songs about May mornings so she thought she’d write her own celebration of spring. The song is followed by a little waltz creatively titled ‘The May Waltz’! 


9 Down Among the Dead Men 
Dyer Arr. McCormick, Portman, Causley. This song rouses our hedonistic tendencies, whilst maintaining our feminist sensibilities. Emily found Down Among the Dead Men in ‘The Songs of England Vol. 1’ in a dusty second-hand bookshop. It is credited to John Dyer ‘around 1700’ and as Emily couldn’t decipher the melody she made up a new one. 

10 The Cuckoo 
Trad. Arr. McCormick, Portman, Causley. 
An original English Blues. We were asked to sing ‘The Cuckoo’ for Martyn Wyndham Reed’s Song Links 2 project, which linked English traditional songs with their American variants. We chose the Dorset traveller Queen Caroline Hughes’ version and have it on her authority that this song is ‘the oldest song in the world’. 


11 Long Lankin 
This version was sung to Cecil Sharp by a Nun, Sister Emma of Clewer, Berkshire. The first published version appeared in Bishop Percy’s collection in 1775 but the song is likely to be much older. Lankin could have been a Stone Mason with a grudge, but Jim prefers the theory that Mr. Lanky was a leaper who sought the folk cure of babies’ blood caught in a silver bowl. 

12 The Midsummer Carol 
Trad. Arr. McCormick, Portman, Causley. 
From the manuscripts of Devon collector Sabine Baring-Gould, this little jewel is a 
relic of a long forgotten tradition. It mentions Leman Day, which was the original Valentines day. (Look up Lemady or listen to the Copper Family’s Sweet Lemeney). Young men would woo their lemans (true loves) with garlands of flowers at the crack of dawn on midsummer’s day. This probably didn’t make them very popular at 4.30am! 
Baring Gould often liked to add flowery Victorian language to the songs he collected and he did a grand job on this one. 
Jim has taken the liberty of editing out the melodramatic “why must I die” verse. Does that make him as bad as the early collectors? We do hope so! No disrespect to Rev. BG intended. 



13 Blow Me Jack 
Trad. Arr. McCormick, Portman, Causley. John Kirkpatrick pulled our string with this cheeky little ditty! We arranged this song one night at Emily’s house aided by a few bottles of raspberry wine – the result included a synchronised dance routine. Unfortunately we couldn’t recreate this in the studio but Doug did insist on a swift half at the village pub before recording this track, for purely artistic reasons of course! 
Green Valley
Trad. Arr. McCormick
Sample not available
Silver Dagger
Trad. Arr. McCormick
Studying Economy
Trad. Arr. McCormick
The Leaves of Life
Trad. Arr. McCormick
Sample not available
The Well Below the Valley
Trad. Arr. McCormick
Sample not available
Two Crows
Trad. Arr. McCormick
Sample not available
The Bonfire Carol
Trad. Arr. McCormick
Sample not available
A May Carol
McCormick. Arr. McCormick
Sample not available
Down Among the Dead Men
Dyer Arr. McCormick
Sample not available
The Cuckoo
Trad. Arr. McCormick
Sample not available
Long Lankin
This version was sung to Cecil Sharp by a Nun
Sample not available
The Midsummer Carol
Trad. Arr. McCormick
Sample not available
Blow Me Jack
Trad. Arr. McCormick
Sample not available

The Folk Diary

Vic Smith

Lauren, Emily and Jim celebrate their graduation from Newcastle University's

Traditional Music course with this delightful album. Their album of harmony

singing of traditional songs must be the finest debut to be released in

recent years. Some of the material is already well-known such as "Long

Lankin", "The Leaves of Life" and "Silver Dagger" but they bring a freshness and enthusiasm to everything that they do. They have clearly listened well to the revival's top performers and clearly have been encouraged by them to go back and listen to source singers. The influence is here in the singing of "The Cuckoo" from Caroline Hughes and "Well Below The Valley" from John Riley.

They do use their instruments - accordion, flute and concertina - sparingly but very effectively, but mostly we are left listening to the way they relish singing together unaccompanied.

EDS (EFDSS)

Clive Pownceby

Our esteemed editor sent this along with a note detailing his regret at having to wrench it from the CD player - his reaction isn't, and won't, be the only one along those lines. Check out the Spring issue of EDS if need be, for background information on the precocious talents of two members of this trio, comprising Jim Causley, Lauren McCormick and Emily Portman. We are graced here by a brilliant, fearless exposition of traditional song.

Lately, it seems, a new 'next big thing' appears with the frequency of an embarrassing British sporting farrago. Initial plaudits often prove premature when it's found that there really isn't much going on, but such isn't the case with the 'Interval.'

This recording is instantly appealing and frequently intensely moving as it ranges through impeccably chosen source-singer influences ('The Cuckoo' from Queen Caroline Hughes of Dorset) to that of revivalist mentors such as Chris Coe and John Kirkpatrick. 'Green Valley' from the former sets out their stall in fine acappella style and, in fact, we're up to track six before any instrumentation is heard. The grouping has an intuitive understanding of the dynamics of unaccompanied song, often choosing less obvious harmonies, rather than the more straight-down ones.

The Devil's Interval value their material and its origins, believe in song structure and rekindle, to my mind, the kind of intensity that fired the likes of The Young Tradition. Lauren and Emily have uncommonly beautiful voices and Jim's bass lines would've had a nod of approval from Ron Copper.

Accordion, flute and concertina, when tastefully brought in, are never overly employed and this is an album to be enjoyed, not just admired. Rare items such as 'The Bonfire Carol' prised from John Swift via Pete Coe and 'Down among the Dead Men,' traceable back some 400 years, show they know how to pick songs. Special mention too, for the hilariously bizarre 'Studying Economy' from Mabs Hall.

A wonderful, eloquent debut and the where-are-the-new-traditionalists? debate might well stop here. If they're not careful, they could have a bright future!

Shreds & Patches

Jeff Gillett

To me, this is a genuinely exciting development: a collection of mostly traditional songs performed tastefully and skilfully by three young singers with an evident love for the material and the sensitivity and imagination to present it without wrapping it in cotton wool. The devils interval, from which the band take their name, is a tritone or augmented fourth, a technical discord which creates a deliciously spooky effect. (Play C and F# together to see what I mean.) For Lauren McCormick, Emily Portman and Jim Causley, the name clearly reflects their attitude towards vocal harmony, which is consistently adventurous and inventive. Far from being harsh or displeasing to the ear, the results are often simply gorgeous: Ive listened repeatedly to Silver Dagger, and know the precise point in the third line of the first verse where the warm shiver will run up my spine (and I wont be even thinking of the Joan Baez version of the song that Ive known and loved for over thirty years). Each arrangement on this album has clearly been carefully crafted, with shifting harmonies, variations in texture, timing, tempo and dynamics, unexpected chord changes and judicious use of unison singing, and always with the words very much in mind. If I have a criticism, it is that the arrangements are almost too studied, but with such a wealth of surprises, appealing to the heart as much as to the head, the trio deserve nothing but praise.

There are too many memorable moments to mention, so Ill just list a few: the point half way through the second verse of The Leaves of Life when they shift from unison to harmony; the stark and dramatic unison in Long Lankin; the moment in The Well Below the Valley when the time signature switches and the tempo picks up; each variation in the delivery of the chorus of Emilys setting of John Dyers Down Among the Dead Men, from exuberant acceleration, to gentle swinging, to the final rallentando; the numerous unexpected turns or slides from one singer or another, or all three simultaneously. Scarcely less surprising after five unaccompanied songs is the jaunty accordion and concertina playing from Jim and Emily on Two Crows, which initially slips in almost unnoticed, to be joined by Laurens flute for a Morris jig finale, complete with slows. Two other songs feature instrumental work. Laurens A May Carol, for which she provides lead vocal, is accompanied throughout, then closes with her tune The May Waltz, initially led by flute then with concertina and accordion interweaving. Long Lankin makes sparing but clever use of all three instruments for dramatic effect. Other highlights include the opening song, Green Valley (largely from Chris Coe) and The Bonfire Carol (collected? by Ruth Tongue). Lighter moments include Studying Economy and Blow Me Jack (essentially, John Kirkpatricks version of Domeama).

In all, this is a striking debut from three fine singers (and capable instrumentalists) working closely together. They clearly have their own ideas, but have also clearly listened wisely and well. To my mind, that is what carrying the tradition forward is all about.

Folk NorthWest

Derek Gifford

The Devils Interval are Lauren McCormick, Emily Portman and Jim Causley. They are relatively young, they have a wonderful sense of harmony and a real feel for the tradition which is backed up by sound research and erudition as is evident from the sleeve notes.

So what on earth is a Dolly Parton hit song doing on it? Well, actually, its doing very well because if you didnt know Silver Dagger was a Dolly dropper youd realise from this rendition that it is in fact a traditional song! Well done team!

Now, when I reviewed Jim Causleys solo CD in these pages not so long ago I might have given the impression that I didnt like it - well, in fact, I did - it was the order of the rather depressing material that I didnt like. Funnily enough for a short while I got the same vibes from this otherwise excellent album.

Now I know that traditional folk song isnt authentic unless theres death, destruction, infidelity, false promises, dark dealings and a smattering of witchcraft and superstition but a lot of it can get you a bit down yknow!

Suffice to say that the lasses have had a beneficial effect on young Jim because the dour stuff like the aforementioned Silver Dagger, The Leaves of Life, The Bonfire Carol (a tremendous song this one and very well performed), Down Among the Deadmen and Long Lankin is interspersed with some delightful lighter songs such as Studying Economy (very apt for budding professional folk singers), Two Crows (which features authentic crow calls) and the optimistic The Midsummer Carol.

There are also some occasional accompaniments with flute (Lauren), concertina (Emily) and accordion (Jim) and, at the end of  A May Carol, a lilting tune called The May Waltz - very nice.

The final song Blow Me Jack is also a lively way to finish the album and leaves the listener uplifted. Good stuff and reassuring to know that the future of our traditional songs is in good hands.

Folk Mag

Phil Cross

The Devil's Interval are:- Lauren McCormick, Emily Portman and Jim Causley.

We booked Emily and Luren a short while ago at the Black Diamond and were

treated to a great night by two youngsters who are carrying the tradition

forward to the next generation. The addition of Jim Causley, another

talented singer and musician, who has been associated with the Wren

Foundation, has created a trio that, I think, will be sought after to appear

at festivals and clubs.

'Blood and Honey' consists of 13 tracks of mainly traditional songs which

have been arranged by Lauren, Emily and Jim. There is also one track with

traditional words set to a new melody written by Emily and A May Carol was

written by Lauren. There are some great harmonies and the CD is very easy to

listen to. I was particularly interested to hear the Bonfire Carol which has

(at last) been collected from John Swift. I remember John singing this song

back in the seventies at the Old Crown Folk Club in Birmingham, but he would

never give anyone the words. It is really difficult to select any of the

tracks for particular mention as they are all great interpretations of

songs, but I did enjoy listening to their version of Long Lankin .

I have only one criricism of the CD. In my opinion, it needs one or two more

'up tempo' tracks to balance it more, but that is just a minor criticism.On

the whole, a great CD from three youngsters who will take folk music safely

forward into the future and whom I would very much like to see live as soon

as possible.

Netrythms

David Kidman

The Devils Interval, rather intriguingly named after a particular sounding-together of three notes which a decent music encyclopaedia might describe as a tritone of notoriously sinister dissonance, is in fact the collective name for three fine young harmony singers (Jim Causley, Lauren McCormick and Emily Portman) who first met in 2002 at Newcastle University while studying for the Traditional Music degree.

They'd first made an impression on me around 18 months ago when they appeared at the launch of the Songlinks 2 project, since which time they've gone from strength to strength with appearances at many folk festivals and as part of the Waterson: Carthy Yuletide Show Frost And Fire both last year and this. Theyve been hailed as English folks new supergroup, and whilst in my humble opinion that errs on the side of extravagant hype they certainly have a lot to offer, especially in terms of confidence, accomplishment and integrity. They have a deep  and lively  interest in traditional song, one that transcends mere academicism and eschews the driness of that approach, preferring to view the tradition as a living, breathing phenomenon; in that regard they clearly take their inspiration from close listening to the source singers on the Voice Of The People sets and in particular, they aver, from the earthy, free-spirited singing style of the travelling people.

That term free spirit is important, for it describes both the creativity with which the Devils Interval come to express the songs and communicate their excitement in what theyre doing, and their belief that all song is grist to the mill, whether it be traditional balladry or music-hall, Tom Waits or Bette Midler covers. (Not that we get any of the latter on this CD, I hasten to add ) The trios debut album presents a good cross-section, though Im not entirely convinced that the running-order of the tracks does either the singers or their material justice. Also, I dont always quite connect with their treatments of their chosen material, at least on first acquaintance; it may be that the trios sheer daring takes a bit of getting used to, even for those of us who are normally of an adventuresome disposition. There are some extraordinary seat-of-the-pants moments in those harmonies, to be sure, and the often surprisingly restrained arrangements contain some serious subtleties to get your ears round.

On a first hearing, what you notice at once  indeed, what startles most, perhaps  is the relatively vast contrast between the three individual voices, not just in their actual coloristic or tonal qualities; they work together far better than you might imagine having heard them in a solo context. The timbre of Jims voice is rich, solid and confident, at one moment lulling you into a sense of comfort yet at another quite disturbing, not least in its wondrous elasticity of line; Emilys enthusiastic, commendably precise, sibilant delivery complementing and contrasting with Laurens smoother melodiousness yet both displaying that enviable combination of youthful (almost coy) innocence and full-bodied (thrusting) strength. No exaggeration, but each time I play this disc I get the compulsion to replay at least some of it almost at once because I just know it will reveal more and more the next time: this is a rather special category for a new disc to be in!

Examples: well, I always start Silver Dagger with trepidation, for (like some other tracks) it feels a bit polite and mannered at first and takes a while to click but it soon proves compulsive listening, as does (though immediately this time) the trios haunting version of The Leaves Of Life. The delightful homespun-philosophy commentary of Studying Economy sounds fun to sing (and empathise with!), and fresh each time you hear it despite the tightness of the arrangement. The melancholy sequence just past midway through the disc, comprising two carols and Down Among The Dead Men, is superbly managed (and I wonder how many other listeners will, like me, hear uncanny resonances of Shirley Collins in Laurens singing of her own May Carol?); Bonfire Carol in particular (which Devils Interval are indeed lucky to have squeezed out of Chris Coe!) is a real discovery. Although the trio are committed to acappella singing, theres a smidgen of instrumental accompaniment on a small handful of the tracks. Long Lankin is given an episodic, quasi-retro treatment that smacks of something from the halcyon days of electro-folk (and arguably loses a little in holding-power and contemporary credibility by not going the whole hog down that road). Two Crows cavort along with a slightly lugubrious morris-y gait, a delicious rendition thats mildly spoilt only by some unnecessary crow-impersonations (caws for concern there, naughty Mr Cawsley  sic!). And while still waxing ornithological, the DIs choice of the Queen Caroline Hughes version of The Cuckoo is both bold and highly inspired. The disc closes with a jolly syncopated knees-up rendition of the old string-puller Blow Me Jack where Id swear you can feel the synchronised dance routine of the participants!

RocknReel

Sean McGhee

The Devil's Interval area young folk trio, largely specialising in unaccompanied harmony. Blood And Honey, their debut album, features a strong collection of chiefly traditional songs that demonstrates the flair the trio (Lauren McCormick, Emily Portman and Jim Causley) have for the medium. Although they're a pretty potent vocal group, the handful of tracks with accompaniment - 'Two Crows' and their own composition, 'A May Carol', where Lauren McCormick performs a breathtaking solo vocal - stand out in particular. Impressive then, but with potential for much more.

The Living Tradition

Alan Rose

The Devil's Interval are Lauren McCormick, Emily Portman and Jim Causley, three recent graduates from the Newcastle University Folk Thing who sing mostly acapella, mostly traditional songs. They quite rightly attract the highest acclamation, not least from Waterson: Carthy with whom they share Christmas both on stage and in the studio ﷓ commendation indeed.

Blood & Honey has the classic thirteen tracks (not too long, not too short...) including carols for Bonfire, May and Midsummer, great revisits to 'Silver Dagger', 'Long Lankin' and 'The Well Below The Valley', and lots of other stuff from the wildly mystical 'Leaves Of Life' to mildly pornographic 'Blow Me Jack'. They are blessed with three distinctive and flexible voices that, by dint of hard work and good advice, they have forged into an extremely original and satisfying harmony group. Good for them! (There's plenty more grey﷓bearded patronisation where that came from...)

A couple of tracks feature concertina, flute and/ or accordion, but it's the vocal textures and the fresh, innovative arrangements that never fail to impress throughout this delicious record. How can they fail? What delectable golden children all! (That's enough, already...)

Around Kent Folk

Bob and Kathy Drage

Three talented young people ﷓ Jim Causley (accordion), Lauren McCormick (flute) and Emily Portman (concertina) who find traditional song inspiring. They research the songs carefully and the notes acknowledge their sources. Like, Gypsy Queen Caroline Hughes version of 'The Cuckoo' ﷓ she assures them that it is the oldest song in the world. The respect for the gypsy tradition is welcome to see ﷓ they refer both to 'Voice of the People' (Topic) and Veteran Records. It's a gorgeous bit of singing ﷓'Silver Dagger will reward close attention. From 'Leaves of Life', 'Long Lankin', 'Two Crows' and the 'Bonfire Carol', 'May Carol' and 'Midsummer Carol' ﷓all arrangements still allow the voices and the songs to speak.

With young people like this involved, the traditional folk scene is in very safe hands.

Mardles

Mike Everett

This album was eagerly awaited, having seen the members of The Devils Interval in various combinations, solo, duo and all together, over the past couple of years. During that time they have received a lot of coverage in the folk press with the girls featuring on the front cover of English Dance & Song and the band on Julys fROOTS cover. The Devils Interval are Lauren McCormick (voice and flute), Emily Portman (voice and concertina) and Jim Causley (voice and accordion), one of many combinations of young performers now arising from the traditional music degree course at Newcastle University.

Although all three are talented musicians, most of the tracks on the CD are unaccompanied vocals with harmonies that remind you more of The Young Tradition or The Watersons than Coope, Boyes & Simpson. Its difficult to know where to start with the groups selection of material as every track has something special about it from Laurens own A May Carol to the delightful Studying Economy, from the singing of Mabs Hall, and the ballad Long Lankin.

The sleeve notes show that this trio know their stuff and have used a variety of sources for their songs, from old recordings of travellers to the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library, Chris Coe and John Kirkpatrick.

This is a very good debut album that improves each time you listen to it.

SongLines

Julian May

Like many a band, The Devil's Interval formed at university. More unusual was the subject that Lauren McCormick, Emily Portman and Jim Causley were studying at Newcastle - traditional music. And it is quite surprising that they emerged as devotees of English traditional song, sung in harmony, almost entirely unaccompanied, in the style associated with the Copper Family, Young Tradition and the Watersons. This rugged musical region is not one often visited by musical explorers in their 20s.

They sing beautifully as individuals and, as an ensemble, their voices complement each other extremely well. In 'The Leaves of Life' they swap harmonies adeptly and in 'The Well Below the Valley; through a subtle variation of pace, they capture the unsettling nature of the song (which features a woman who has had six children - two fathered by an uncle, two by her brother and two by father).

The repertoire is certainly interesting, including that horror movie of a ballad 'Long Lankin: 'The Cuckoo' is described here as an English blues, and is sung as such. I particularly enjoyed 'Studying Economy; a text on how to live happily on next to nothing. There are songs from travellers, songs from the great collectors - Cecil Sharp and Sabine Baring-Gould - and even a song collected from Dolly Parton.

With a deep understanding of their material, fine control of their voices, inventive arrangements, and a real sense of sheer enjoyment, The Devil's Interval make vivacious music. Blood and Honey is an accomplished, attractive debut.

Lancashire Wakes

Dave Wane

A debut album from three young and very accomplished singers and musicians, it is pleasant and refreshing to find such talent gracing the airwaves and augurs well for the future of traditional music. To criticise this fine recording would be unfair, but you have to be rather brave these days to reel off five straight unaccompanied songs before any instrumentation is heard. That said the harmonies are excellent, almost too studied in some respects, but show excellent tonal range and variety. The first tune with accompaniment has jaunty accordion and concertina to complement it and Two Crows is set alight and is one of my favourites.

Good old favourites such as Lord Nankin are mixed with other highlights such as the opening song, Green Valley (Chris Coe) and Blow Me Jack, which seems to have John Kirkpatrick's influence behind it. There is a lot of appealing material here: The Cuckoo and Down Amongst the Deadmen are really excellent and I am sure that The Devil's Interval will appeal to a great many music lovers over the coming years.

Rythms Australia

Tony Hillier

The Devil's Interval is one of the best young harmony groups in the Old Dart. Comprising two females and one male, they primarily perform a cappella style, though there's sparse instrumental backing on some tracks. The trio follows in the tradition of such as the Watersons, the Young Tradition and Swan Arcade. While their harmonies are impressively lush - the three voices ht together like a velvet glove their phrasing is admirably unconventional. The song selection on Blood & Honey, which includes no fewer than three carols, is rather less impressive. 'Silver Dagger' has been recorded by two generations of the Tilston family, while the gruesome tale, 'Long Lankin', is an old Steeleye Span staple. 'The Cuckoo' and 'The Well Below The Valley' have been covered to countless times in the past.