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Southern Tenant Folk Union - Men in Robes (Johnny Rock Records)

Star rating: 

With a good stomping lead song, this new four-track single from Edinburgh-based Sci-Fi bluegrass outfit Southern Tenant Folk Union indicates what's to come on the band's soon to be released fifth album. Men in Robes features a strong and strident bass line throughout with a cheerful harmonica filling in between verses. Accompanying this is the much gentler 'b side', the haunting Dark Passenger, featuring a lead vocal courtesy of fiddle player and singer Carrie Thomas. With two bonus tracks, the jaunty Juniper Blossom, again featuring the voice and fiddle of Carrie Thomas, together with a standard up-tempo bluegrass instrumental entitled Bottle to Throttle, written by mandolin player Adam Bulley after a worrying conversation with an airline pilot who claimed to know the 'bottle to throttle' ratio enforced by airline unions; namely the amount of time you can legally fly an aircraft after having a pint. Not the best chap to bump into in the bar before take off.  

Allan Wilkinson
Northern Sky