Exposé Online banner

Tempest — Thirty Little Turns
(Magna Carta , 2018, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2018-06-02

Thirty Little Turns Cover art

Given my love of Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span, and Boiled in Lead, it would seem like Tempest should be part of my musical life when it comes to folk-rock. But there’s so much music in the world, and only so much time, that while I was aware of the band’s existence, I never ended up hearing anything other than Turn of the Wheel (1996). Given the music presented on Thirty Little Turns, my ignorance is not an indicator of any lack of quality in Tempest’s music. The album title refers to the fact that 2018 is the 30th anniversary of the band’s existence, and such longevity speaks to the enduring nature of this kind of music. If you think of the bands I’ve already mentioned, and add Wolfstone and Horslips, you’re in the right area. Tempest presents a somewhat harder-rocking sound than Fairport or Steeleye, but lacks the punk overtones of some Boiled in Lead. Take rocked-up renditions of folk tunes from the British Isles, add some hot fiddle playing, and top it off with strong vocals including great male-female harmonies, and you’ve got the idea. There are additional features worth mentioning, such as excellent flute, melodic bass parts, and an imaginative cover of “Norwegian Wood,” all of which should convince anyone with an interest in folk-rock that this is a band worthy of attention. My problem with this is that it means I have a dozen or so albums from their past that I need to investigate! I curse my own hunger for good music… Anyway, it is apparent that the members of this band are very good at what they do, and are having a good time doing it. Original members Lief Sorbye (mandolin, vocals) and Adolfo Lazo (drums) are joined by Kathy Buys (fiddle), Ab Menon (guitar), and Josh Fossgreen (bass), of whom Menon is a newcomer while the others have appeared on at least one previous recording. Five of the ten tunes are at least partly traditional, including one (“Trolldans”) which I think is Swedish; the remaining tracks (barring the previously mentioned Lennon / McCartney cover and a set of reels credited to Patrick Caryannis and Paul Meehan) were penned by band members in varying combinations, with Sorbye the most active composer. The tunes range from delicate acoustic parts to hard-rocking energy, all done with the same care to detail. For fans of folk-rock, I can’t think why Thirty Little Turns wouldn’t scratch the itch — it’s a fine effort all round, and a rollicking good time.


Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): Tempest

More info
http://tempestcelticrock.bandcamp.com/album/thirty-little-turns

Latest news

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Court - Frost of Watermelon – A recent stateside tour was the first I had heard of this Italian quintet since their two WMMS label releases over a decade ago. What is surprising is how little has changed with their sound in the...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues