Blue Murder

No One Stands Alone

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For those less versed in the folklore of traditional British music, Blue Murder is a loose gathering of the Watersons -- perhaps the most illustrious folk group in the Isles -- and Barry Coope, Jim Boyes, and Lester Simpson. Together, this supergroup creates something akin to a folk choir, emphasizing the big vocal sound as opposed to an instrumental one. Appropriately, traditional songs from both sides of the Atlantic and rich harmonies fill out their repertoire. The title cut lays down the band's confident approach. With well-thought-out arrangements exploiting a plethora of vocal combinations, "No One Stands Alone" extols the comfort and security of a heavenly companion. The song also works as a statement of unity between good friends and even family. There are whimsical songs like "Rubber Band," traditional American fare like "Blue Mountain," and a number of religious pieces. Old hymns like "Standing on the Promises of God," "The Land Where You Never Grow Old," and "Stars in My Crown" give the impression that the band either enjoys performing traditional gospel or has been busy thinking about immortality. Either way, the impeccable results are the same. No One Stands Alone is a stately and mature effort, filled with lovely vocal work and moving material. Fans of traditional British folk will not want to let it pass by.

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