Released in 1998, Pastures of Plenty was the JSD Band's first album of new material in roughly 25 years. The 1997 album For the Record consisted of re-recorded acoustic versions of past songs. This album introduces banjo and dobro player Rab Mairs and reinstates original multi-instrumentalist Des Coffield (mandolin, guitars, keyboards) to their lineup, so their sound is slightly more robust on this recording. They've also allowed for the option to rock when the occasion calls, something that For the Record didn't. Acoustically, they resemble fellow Scottish folk group Old Blind Dogs, who, quite possibly, were influenced by early-period JSD Band. Their uniqueness, however, is evidenced when the electric guitar is unleashed, as exemplified on "The Downfall of Paris, the Chanter's Tune." That song also allows for tasteful flute and saxophone passages by Sean O'Rourke. With the exception of fiddler Chuck Flemming's "Shake Loose the Border," this album is comprised of traditional pieces like "Spanish Lady" and "Shady Grove," the former being the most recognizable while the remaining tracks border on the obscure.
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AllMusic Review by Dave Sleger