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Gathering Britannia, The: The Bridge Between

The Gathering Britannia is made up of some of the UK's best artists, but please don't call them a supergroup, they're much more down to earth. The band is made up of the following legends: Jerry Donahue, (Fairport Convention, Fotheringay, to name a few), plays guitars; Rick Kemp, (Steeleye Span), on bass and vocals; Clive Bunker, (Jethro Tull and Pentangle), on drums, of course; Ray Jackson, (Lindisfarne), on mandolin, vocals, and harmonica; Doug Morter, (Albion Band and Magna Carta), plays guitars and sings vocals; and Kristina Donahue, (Fairport Convention guest), sings vocals.

This is an excellent and original sounding collaboration of some of the UK's best performing and most talented musicians. Excellent work delivering some solid hits and showing the UK's new talent where history was made with folk music and the blues.

'Fire on the Line' opens with bright acoustic guitar and harmonica. Then the chorus begins without music accompaniment, "Will we be too late to celebrate, when the curtain of the century comes down?" Then the full capacity of the sound opens up along with mandolin and drums. A great folksy opening to this project. "There's a fire on the line. Going to slow this old engine down". Ah, the effects of global warming, addressed within a bouncy folk tune.

'Lady Eleanor' is one of my favorite tracks on the album, and the wonderful mix of acoustic guitar, mandolin, and soft drums are the main reason. A story set to song like it used to be back in the 60s and 70s.

'Deep in the Darkest Night' opens slowly with soft drums, bass, and electric guitar. Then Kristina Donahue brings back memories of early Stevie Nicks with, "Deep in the darkest night under a midnight blue". The mandolin with guitar and drum support helps weave a wonderful tale full of emotional support, with Kristina warmly and softly singing.

Sly electric and bass guitar open 'Don't Make Me Old', with some great harmonica supporting. Then vocals that bring back memories of Boz Scaggs' funkier side. A fun song full of solid guitar and some of the best harmonica on the album. You can tell they're having some fun on this one.

'This Has Got to End' is a sad song about breaking up. Good vocals, soft drums, bass, and electric guitar mixed with mandolin. Kristina balances out the male chorus of vocals well. The harmonica solos help add to the sadness and the emotion of the song.

'I Don't Want' is a good funky blues song, full of great vocals, slow guitar and solid drums. The harmonica adds great emotion to the piece. Brings back memories of some of Dire Straits' songs with the slow electric guitar solos.

'For Shame of Doing Wrong' opens full of flash, like a Who song, full of drums, cymbals, bass, and lead guitar. Then Kristina begins singing and they turn it into a good straight ahead rocker. The guitar solos and drumming are excellent.

'Rocking the Dog' is another of the best tracks on the album. It's an instrumental track, allowing all musicians to individually showcase their talents. Everything is here, from excellent harmonica, good supporting bass, solid in –step drumming, and of course excellent bluesy electric lead guitar soloing.

'Back on Your Own Again' opens slow with bass and lead guitar before the mandolin joins in to give it just the right amount of tinge of folk. Another story set to music.

'False Hands (Across the Table)' is a slow bluesy/country western sounding track set to slow electric guitar, bass, and mandolin. It doesn't really get interesting until that cool harmonica darts in. Then it takes on more of that Dire Straights' feel.

'King's Cross Blues' takes us on a bluegrass ride through the country, full of harmonica, and country twang on the guitar and vocals.

'Brampton to Roadhead' opens like some early Jethro Tull, with excellent harmonica, drums, bass, and great lead electric guitar. Good vocals help bring forward the storyline. The guitar soloing is an excellent way to close the album.

Track Listing
1. Fire On The Line (4:19)
2. Lady Eleanor (5:14)
3. Deep In The Darkest Night (4:45)
4. Don't Make Me Old (4:48)
5. This Has Got To End (3:52)
6. I Don't Want (5:40)
7. For Shame Of Doing Wrong (4:15)
8. Rocking The Dog (4:06)
9. Back On Your Own Again (4:30)
10. False Hands (Across The Table) (6:12)
11. Kings Cross Blues (4:10)
12. Brampton To Roadhead (4:03)

Added: July 11th 2011
Reviewer: Mark Johnson
Related Link:
Hits: 2492
Language: english

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