The Albion Band

Demi Paradise

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This album completes the trilogy of mid-'90s recordings by the revamped Albion Band. For the most part, Demi Paradise revolves around the singing and songwriting of Chris While and Julie Matthews, whose vocal harmonies sound a lot like those of the Indigo Girls. With only one traditional selection, it's evident that bassist and bandleader Ashley Hutchings has switched gears again, although it is possible that he's recorded every British folk song ever written, given his 30-year attention to England's folk music. Relying on the strengths of the groups' writers, this recording has taken on a contemporary-folk and acoustic-pop flavor. Of course, wherever fiddler Chris Leslie is involved, traces of traditional folk music are sure to surface, and that is the case here as Leslie has arranged a medley of traditional reels and composed a medley of contemporary jigs in the old style. But those two instances aren't enough to offset the modern folk direction of this album.

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