Doghouse Roses. This Broken Key. (Yellowroom Records)

This Glasgow based duo generally get rave reviews for their updated mix of Pentangle styled acoustic folk with mentions given to guitarist Paul Tasker’s debt to Bert Jansch and Iona McDonald’s vocals compared to Jacqui McShee or Sandy Denny. Well, this second full length release doesn’t betray any of the above but compared to their first release, “How’ve You Been All This Time?” there is a looser, limber approach which forsakes the strings which adorned that album and offers a basic bass, drums and keyboard framework on which to hang their wares.
While a song such as “The Rain” has that cool Pentangle jazz swing it strikes me that the overall sound is more akin to that of John and Beverly Martyn’s albums, Stormbringer and Road to Ruin. The former was recorded in Woodstock and featured a song of that name. In the same fashion there is a song called Woodstock here, the second on the album that recalls the Martyn song especially in the repeated use of the word tumble. Anyway, this song is an indication that the Roses’ sights are shifting to the Americas and this is maintained in the song “Thunder of The Dawn” which actually swings and benefits immensely from some fine organ (played by Alan Scobie). The band cooks up a storm on “Any Kind of Love” which almost has a funk going on, again courtesy of the keyboards. A jauntier side is then evidenced on “Evermore” where a banjo is added to the mix.
Throughout the album McDonald’s vocals are excellent. While perhaps not best suited to songs that let their hair down she approaches them with gusto. The overall effect is reminiscent of sixties folk singers discovering rock music which led then to some fine examples of baroque folk styles. Toward the end of the album however she shows why she is regarded so highly on a pair of songs (The Devil In Me and The Highwayman) that are simpler in structure and which allow her cool, clear, icy delivery to shine.
Overall a very worthy second album that grows in stature on repeated plays and portrays a band evolving and growing in confidence
Website here
Thunder of the Dawn

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One thought on “Doghouse Roses. This Broken Key. (Yellowroom Records)

  1. Pingback: Talking about imaginary westerns and Doghouse Roses with Paul Tasker | Blabber 'n' Smoke

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