Following on from his previous solo outing Baby, Wolves Abound, Owl Service guitarist Jason Steel continues to fingerpick his way through classic bluegrass and Americana on this massively enjoyable new full-length.
It’s hard not to be surprised by Steel’s Yorkshire origins given the apparent authenticity of his music, yet sure enough, he’s probably more accustomed to the peaks of the Pennines than the Appalachians. Steel teams a warm croak of a vocal to his elaborately picked guitar parts – it’s all very classic in its approach, but Fire Begot Ash is not a record entirely focused on retro Americana; while ‘Young People Dancing’ and the excellent ‘High Game’ are expertly delivered Takoma loveliness, you also get more modern sounding singer-songwriter numbers such as ‘The False Bride’, which brings to mind Iron & Wine in its lilting balladry.
The False Bride
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Jason’s first release, Baby, Wolves Abound is also highly recommended. There are eight songs, with two covers included – Bob Dylan’s ‘Boots Of Spanish Leather’ and a great version of Cat Power’s ‘Baby Doll’ – plus an arrangement of the traditional tune ‘Bonny Black Hare’.
Bonny Black Hare
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