The latest self-titled album from the six-piece folk-rock band Galley Beggar sees them back at the top of their game embodying the classic British folk-rock influences of Pentangle and Fairport with their own modern revivalist take. From the opening Willow Tree with it’s hook laden bass lines and late sixties psychedelic guitar rifts they transport you to an alternative time where the hey-day of folk-rock never died.
Whilst their influences are nailed firmly to the mast Maria O’Donnell’s vocals make no effort to copy the likes of Jacqui McShee, instead her distinctive vocals are far more rock influenced and perfect for the traditional song furrow the band proudly plough.
They make clever use of a mix of styles from folk music history…subtle hints bubble up such as the Planxty styled mandolin and bouzouki on the self-penned ‘Lady Grey’ to plaintive Fairport inspired acoustics and violin on ‘Nottamun Town’. Whislt they make no effort to hide the fact that they are incredibly nostalgic about this era of music history they do have a very distinctive sound which is instantly recogniseable as that of Galley Beggar.
They dip into some well known folk ballads as well as carrying off some impressive original songs such as ‘Daverne Lamb’ which is as tradtionally flavoured as you can get. I can’t think of a finer or better band out there to carry the British folk-rock revival banner.
Folk Radio UK Session
Another pleasant surprise with this album is that five of the tracks also featured on a session they recorded for us back in August 2011. So for those that missed it here is that fantastic session again:
Galley Beggar is available direct from the bands website: www.galleybeggar.com
Photo Credit: Claire McAlpine Photography