The Green House Band


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While the Green House Band's debut album is adequate British folk-rock, it's hard to shake the feeling that you're listening to competent but inferior Pentangle imitators. The comparison's made all the easier when no less than seven of the first eight tracks are interpretations of compositions or arrangements by Pentangle guitarists John Renbourn and Bert Jansch. Unlike Pentangle, the Green House Band rely wholly on their woman singer for the vocals, and here's where the comparison stacks up heavily against them. Madeleine Worrall is just not nearly in the class of a singer such as Pentangle's Jacqui McShee, or numerous other British folk-rock vocalists who could be named. Her singing lacks resonance and nuance, and sometimes is given to a slightly theatrical, stiff style that's not an optimum fit for the material (with the exception of the atypical classical-theatrical-flavored "Annabel Lee"). The playing and arrangements are well done enough, if kind of mellow and subdued, sometimes escaping the Pentangle frame of reference, particularly when guest Richard Friedman contributes violin. The eight-minute instrumental medley (with some wordless Worrall vocals) "The Lamentation of Owen Roe O'Neill/The Mist Covered Mountains of Home/The Nine Maidens" flows quite nicely, with some fine guitar work, and the band might have been well off to pursue more such pieces. American folk-rock singer Tim Rose, who died shortly before this release, duets with Worrall on "The Snows."

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