Raise Your Head: A Retrospective

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Consider this a potted history of the Poozies, or perhaps an introduction to their incarnations. Certainly they picked a good time to do it, with the departure of Kate Rusby from the fold, and this does sum up several years of recording history. While there's nothing unreleased, there are tracks "The Widow/Charlie's Cap" and "Mr. Grapes/Heidi Hendi" from a hard-to-find EP by the most recent lineup, as well as cuts from the first two Poozies albums, which never saw any real U.S. release. More than anything, this album illustrates the way the band developed. "We Built Fires," from the debut Chantoozies, now seems very tentative and unformed compared to later efforts, especially a piece like "Ma Plaid." There's no doubt that Rusby brought something to the band, an inspired confidence and great vocal ability that had been missing, freeing up the others to add more textures to the music. Certainly, with their combined backgrounds -- Seddon and McMaster in Sileas, and Tweed with so many the list is endless -- their ability is beyond question. While their sensibilities are very much settled in the British Isles, when they venture out, as on Townes Van Zandt's "Poncho And Lefty," they manage to bring something new to a well-trodden song. This looks back at the end of a chapter, but another would unfold soon thereafter.

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