Another Dawn

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Tempest have been on the road for 20 years, but they still mange to make their music -- a blend of Celtic, Norwegian, British, and American folk and good ol' rock & roll -- sound fresh. Like all good folkies, Lief Sorbye and his mates constantly reinvent themselves by blending contemporary and traditional sounds. Another Dawn continues their evolution by showing off their songwriting on seven tracks and featuring their first pop cover, a Celtodelic reinvention of the Grass Roots hit "Let's Live for Today" featuring a blazing wah-wah guitar solo from James Crocker and a vaguely Caribbean backbeat supplied by drummer Adolfo Lazo. Ewan MacColl's "The Moving-on Song" is a tune about the Celtic Gypsies known in Britain as tinkers. It's played in Tempest's more acoustic style, with fiddler Michael Mullen providing his usual energetic fills to complement the tune's singalong chorus. "Black Jack Davy" is Sorbye's take on the old ballad "The Gypsy Laddie," here given a dark, dramatic reading with Sorbye growling out the lyric with Crocker adding a searing solo. "Never Tire of the Road" is an Andy Irvine song that he wrote as a tribute to Woody Guthrie, but it could just as easily be Tempest's theme song. It's played with a boozy élan that's halfway between Oklahoma and the Emerald Isle. Sorbye wrote "The Great Departure" after his father's passing as a celebration of the cycle of life and death; Crocker's long sustained notes and Sorbye's tinkling mandolin play off each other, creating musical tension that suggests the struggle of life and death, darkness and dawn. "Jomfru" is one of oldest songs in the Norwegian vocal tradition. Sorbye sings it in Norwegian with Lazo's funeral beat and Mullen's emotional fiddling giving the moody tune the gravitas it requires.

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