Derek Gifford of Folk Northwest
reviews Crux by CrucibleWhen reviewing Crucible’s debut CD some time ago in FOLKNW I said that ‘they’re pretty damn good!’ and this latest album does nothing to dispel that opinion. In fact now they are even better, showing a maturity and confidence that comes with regular performances.
They start with the punchy George’s Son written by John Kirkpatrick followed by Jake’s Progress written by band member Helena Reynolds. Great musicianship, singing and a hint of what’s to come.
This album is full of jaunty, rhythmic and foot-tapping music and song. Of the latter I particularly liked the tight four part harmonies in Ron Angel’s Chemical Workers Song and in Jim Eldon’s version of Old Horse. In the former category their rendition of Swaggering Boney is one of the best I’ve heard in long while.
Even when they slow things down such as in their ‘re-written’ version of the 91st psalm which they call Within the Shadowed Secrecy and in Whipping Cheer the delivery is forceful to say the least.
I liked Gavin’s Thieves’ Song too. In the sleeve notes they sound a little apologetic that this is a political song, a theme which they normally avoid. They needn’t be, much of the revival was based on politics and protest so why not have a go if it’s something that upsets you! Every folk singer should have a protest song!!! (Sorry, got a bit carried away there ed.)
I’m not really qualified to comment on the tunes except to say that with the instrumental mix of melodeons, guitar, cittern, fiddles, viola and bagpipes (sounds like a Music Room stock list!) and their approach to the musical arrangements it makes for cracking listening. Rest assured, they are going to be around for a long time.
A pleasure through and through and well done Doug at Wild Goose for capturing their sound so well.