The New St. George — High Tea
(Folk Era FE 1415CD, 1994, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1995-03-01The New St. George is a five-piece folk rock outfit from the Washington, DC area who sport a strong British/Celtic personality and two excellent vocalists. Their music may remind of the likes of Steeleye Span, Fairport, Lindisfarne, Moving Hearts, Clannad and the like, given the fact that many of the tunes are adaptations of traditional standards. Instrumentation varies from one song to the next, but you'll find plenty of acoustic guitars, electric guitar, mandolin, bazouki, accordions, piano, organ, pennywhistles and such, all supported by a solid rhythm section of bass and drums. Additional musicians bring recorders, flute, violin, cello, sitar, tabla and bodhran into the mix as required. In all, the arrangements are very warm and refined. The main mover is keyboardist Jennifer Cutting, who arranged most of the traditionals and penned many of the original tunes. She has a very keen sense of tradition, combining a rich and diverse folk tapestry with elements of progressive rock and a touch of Jazz. Her original "All The Tea in India" is delicate yet forceful, and combined with the stunning vocals of Lisa Moscatiello, makes for one of the album's most powerful and compelling tracks. Harmonizing with Moscatiello on many of the tracks, and singing alone on others is British born guitarist Bob Hitchcock, his voice a perfect match for this type of music. Still yet, a number of the tunes here are completely instrumental. Drummer Juan Dudley and bassist Rico Petrucelli, who also doubles as the band's producer, keep the mix moving and vital. So we have an American band immersed in British folk culture, and doing an outstanding job of it. The folk presence here is much stronger than the rock, but if this even remotely sounds like something you might enjoy, then I guarantee you will ! Highly recommended.
Related artist(s): The New St. George
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