Derek Gifford of Folk NorthWest
reviews Blood & Honey by The Devil's IntervalThe 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.