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Tempest: Another Dawn

With five members from five different countries, you can be sure the music of progressive folk rock band Tempest draws inspiration from diverse ethnic backgrounds. Based out of the United States, Another Dawn is their first studio album in four years and having never been exposed to the band I am quite impressed. Tempest (not to be confused with the Alan Holdsworth band of the same name) has been around for well over twenty years so you are rest assured of tight playing and excellent musicianship. These guys know how to play their instruments of which there are many. Tempest are Lief Sorbye (lead vocals, mandoguitar, mandolins, octave mandolas, flute, harmonica, bodhran, tambourine), Adolfo Lazo (drums), Michael Mullen (4,5 and 7 string violins, viola, harmony vocals), James Crocker (electric and acoustic guitars, baritone guitar) and Damien Gonzalez (bass, djembe, harmony vocals). Another Dawn was produced and engineered by Robert Berry who also provides keyboards and background vocals.

The music is deeply rooted in folk rock, often incorporating traditional Irish, Scottish and Scandinavian arrangements into their songs. The acoustic instruments are played very well with lots of sweet guitar melodies and excellent violin work. Another plus are the distinct vocals of Sorbye, which at times reminded me of a younger Ian Anderson. The CD begins with the Grass Root's classic "Let's Live For Today" and the band do an admirable job while staying true to the original version. Other highlights include the Scottish inspired instrumental "The New Squire" with its tasty snippets of acoustic guitar and violin and the traditional Irish folk of "Dagda's Harp" with its pretty acoustic intro. Also worth a mention are "Great Departure", a song about Woody Guthrie that has a Scottish/country blend that surprisingly works and "Jomfru", a Norwegian style ballad that has an interesting string arrangement.

Overall, this is a strong collection of progressive folk rock inspired by traditional music that should appeal to fans of Celtic, Scottish and melodic folk music in general. Also recommended for those who appreciate the mellower side of Jethro Tull.

Track Listing:
1. Let's Live For Today (3:31)
2. Verses Of Grace (4:29)
3. The New Squire (5:56)
4. Great Departure (4:06)
5. Never Tire Of The Road (3:51)
6. Jomfru (6:28)
7. Dagda's Harp (6:07)
8. The Moving-on Song (3:16)
9. Black Jack Davy (3:12)
10. High Rise (6:08)

Added: April 12th 2010
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 5126
Language: english

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