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Hair and Hide - The Trials Of Cato (09/11/18)

the trials of cato - Hide and Hair.jpg
  • Artist: The Trials Of Cato

  • Release Date: 9th November 2018

  • Genre: Folk, Folk-Rock, Welsh Language Folk, Tradition Folk

  • Record Label: Water Records

  • Tracks: 10

  • Website: https://www.thetrialsofcato.com

  • Review By: Gary Smith (LCM)

One very fastest rising Folk trio are the excellent Welsh based Robin Jones (mandolin, tenor banjo, vocals), William Addison (irish bouzouki, vocals) and Tomos Williams (guitar, vocals) better known as The Trials Of Cato. The band was formed in Beirut in the winter of 2016 and the name is taken from their long-suffering landlord. Originally from North Wales and Yorkshire the band used their time in Lebanon to hone their craft returning to produce their self titled debut EP at the Abbey Road Institute in London.

With a clear nod to the folk revivals of the 60’s and 70’s their excellent debut album is rooted in the folk traditions of Britain and Ireland but with a fresh contemporary twist. It was recorded in the spring of 2018 at Penylan Studios in mid-Wales. The album perfectly balances English and Welsh language traditional and original folk music with a fresh new twist. Their excellent instrumentals showcase their musicianship and arrangements.

The album was mixed by Donald Thompson in Toronto and mastered by john Davis of Metropolis Studios in London.

The album opens with Difyrwch their own arrangement of three traditional melodies (two Welsh and one English) Hen Ferchetan, Difyrrwch Gwyr y Gogledd and The Parson’s Farewell. ‘Kadisha’ takes it’s name from the spectacular valley in Northern Lebanon finds the band exploring and being inspired by a region peppered with monasteries and ancient buildings. The album is as much about characters as it is about places.

One of the album stand-outs is the catchy and uptempo ‘Gloria’. A very human story of an ordinary character trying to deal with extraordinary circumstances. In this case a beheading match with a supernatural character of the green knight. The slightly psychedelic and folk-rock Eastern influenced ‘Gawain’ draws into inspiration from the medieval tale of Sir Gawain and The Green Knight. Watch out for a great version of ‘Tom Paine’s Bones’. ‘My Love’s in Germany’ is a seventeenth tune of a widow’s lament for a a lost soldier love seguing into the vibrant bounce of a stomping drinking and dance tune ‘The Drinkers’.

The Trails of Cato are a fantastic trio going places very fast. Watch out for them either on the festival circuit this year or one of their many sell-out shows.

Highly recommended.

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