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Mike Everett of Mardles

reviews Blood & Honey by The Devil's Interval

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.