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SERGEANT BUZFUZ The Jewelled Carriageway
Blang (2006)

Sergeant Buzfuz

The Jewelled Carriageway is Sergeant Buzfuz's third album. Since their last release - Fire Horse in 2004 - the line-up has stabilised to a five piece of Joe Murphy (guitars and vocals), Kate Arnold (hammered dulcimer, violin, and vocals), Jon Clayton (cello and bass), Eilish McCracken (violin and whistle) and Martin Parker (drums).

Sergeant Buzfuz are folk troubadours of yesteryear time warped to the present day but with the gift of contemporary song writing - 'Bouncers with smiles like a crowbar' and 'You play in fields, and riverbeds, now you're a child of the city, running through carbon and lead'. It's a warm and richly textured album - organic and pure in a way seldom heard since the hurdy gurdy days of the sixties, the playing coherent and off the wall at the same time.

English, but with Celtic undertones at every twist and turn. Folk, but with a pop basis - spot the Stones lick that opens Pour It From The Kettle. It's an album on contradictions and one that shouldn't work.

But a couple of listens reveals an album of quietly staggering beauty. Joe's vocals remind at times of Alex Harvey and Bob Geldof - gritty and emotive, and the band play with perfect understatement. It's enchanting, engaging and totally absorbing with more passion and integrity than you could shake a stick at. This is new British folk at it's very, very best - challenging but accessible. Buy it.


Review by Pete Whalley

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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Why should I buy this CD?

Love songs, political comment, and just plain great songs. And played with a fervour and honesty seldom heard in this consumer generation.

Burn baby burn

Pour It From The Kettle, Bone Tired, Grade A, Here Comes The Popes Part 1 (1st Millenium)