Autumn Ferment Rec. The Existence of Harvey Lord : Yoke (UK,2011)****
There’s so much happening in this album it confused me a bit not knowing if there was one story being told or a thousand. Harvey Lord surely is a good song storyteller and together with the well changing arrangements to the songs and the changes of focus in the singing from time to time, from bloody serious to cynical and joyful, that makes an interesting listen. The lead remains on the singer, but the band adds really a lot of elements, like colourful percussion ideas, flute arrangements, musical saw and glockenspiel, dual vocal arrangements or vocal nananaas, more rock electric and drum accompanied parts, or with more chamber-music accents of double bass or cello, accordion or steelpan or trombone, this is all done with clarity and freshness, the songs being alternated with a few instrumental pickings. I can’t get a grip on the content well, but the flavours have something of the lakes of England or are just slightly inspired from the folk landscapes somewhere in the UK, providing for those songwriters who have ears to hear all the possible musical stories. Very good !