Rainbow Chasers

Some Colours Fly

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Publicity materials for the debut album by the Rainbow Chasers emphasize the band's youth and vitality while acknowledging their link to the first wave of British folk-rock bands. However, their primary link to said bands is the fact that their bassist, primary songwriter, occasional lead singer, and producer is Ashley Hutchings, who performed the same functions over three decades ago for Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span. (Imagine if the Magic Numbers' bass player turned out to be Paul McCartney!) That said, Some Colours Fly is not Hutchings' attempt to be "relevant" to a younger audience (happily, he doesn't attempt to incorporate trip-hop beats or world music elements to the music), and nor is it the work of a bunch of young punks trying to attract the graybeards' attention. Instead, this album is a timeless blend of folk and pop, built mostly on the lovely dual lead vocals of singers Ruth Angell and Jo Hamilton (who also provide fiddle and viola respectively, along with a spot of keyboards) and Mark Hutchinson's acoustic and electric guitars. The closest comparison is the great early-'70s U.K. obscurities the Mellow Candle, with that band's late-blooming psychedelic tendencies largely restrained, or perhaps Eliza Carthy's early solo records: this is as much a pop album as it is folk, although gems like the lovely instrumental "The Gypsy Jig" and "When I Jumped Ship," which interpolates a Hutchings-sung sea shanty section into its middle, make plain the group's English folk roots.

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