‘Smokey Joe’ from Folklaw - will move you both physically and emotionally

(August 13, 2016)

Folklaw is one of those bands for whom live performances its bread and butter, gigging relentlessly across the UK, Europe and North America. Folklaw has also been beavering away quietly refining their art, and their latest album ‘Smokey Joe’ is proof of that. Admittedly, the break between their previous album, ‘The Tales That They Tell’ in 2012 and their latest offering has been a long one, SmokeyJoe album coverhowever by anyone’s standards the wait has most definitely been worthwhile.

‘Smokey Joe’ not only shows how far Folklaw have come from their early days it stands as a fine example of English folk. The evidence is obvious throughout ... the fast paced opening track, ‘Smokey Joe’, the penetrating truths of ‘I Made Them’  “... history is written by the fountain pens of the men who lie below the decks” through the lyric-rich contemplation of ‘Waterways of England’ and the impassioned ‘Gloucester Boys’ to the screaming energy of ‘Mad Fiddler’.There’s foot stamping energy that cries out for you to indulge in a frenetic step, there’s also deep seated thoughtfulness that permeates their lyrics ... this is music to make you laugh and dance, it’s also music to make you think. ‘Smokey Joe’ will move you both physically and emotionally.

If this album is any gauge, Folklaw deserves wider recognition. Sharing the writing between them Nick Gibbs and Bryn Williams, aided by the band, have created an album that when the stars align, will be recognised as a milestone of folk music.

Playing on ‘Smokey Joe’ are Nick Gibbs (singer songwriter, vocals, fiddle) Bryn Williams (vocals, guitars, mando, bohdran) Gaz Hunt (percussion, backing vocals) Martin Vogwell (bass, mandolin, guitars, backing vocals) Lyndon Webb (guitars and sound) and Marty Fitzgibbon (percussion, snare, backing vocals).

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Review: Tim Carroll

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