The Peatbog Faeries are one of Scotland's top bands, and with the release What Men Deserve to Lose, they show why they will continue in this prominent position for some time.
Peatbog Faeries - What Men Deserve to Lose
What Men Deserve to Lose: The Locks & Rocks Reel, The Invergarry Blues, Jason's Famous Banjo, There's a Girl Behind The Bar Who Thinks She's Garbo, Sudden Dilemma, Friend OF Crazy Joe, Dr. Gig, Still Drunk In The Morning, Ramasaig, NYUP
Personnel: Peter Morison: Pipes, Whistles; Adam Sutherland: Fiddles; Innes Hutton: Bass, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals; Tom Salter: Guitar; Iain Copeland: Drums, Percussion, Programming; Rick Taylor: Trombone, Vocals; Nigel Hitchcock: Alto & Tenor Saxophone; Paul Spong: Trumpet; Seamus MacLennan: Mandola; Calum MacLean: Banjo, Programming; John Disco: Additional Guitar on NYUP
What Men Deserve to Lose was produced by Calum MacLean and Iain Copeland and was released on the Peatbog Records, Isle Of Skye label. This is the fifth release for this well traveled international group based out of the Isle of Skye in Scotland. Their energetic style has caught the eye and ear of many cross-genre international fans. I had the unique opportunity to hear the group play live in New York a few times, and each time they have turned the venue into a party. Playing a diverse set of instruments, the group knows how to blend their sound that draws upon influences from many different styles, and in the end, they win over the audiences.
What Men Deserve to Lose is a phrase taken from the book Skye, written by Derek Cooper, and is about the beauty and folklore (faeries) of the band's home, the Isle of Skye. The line goes "faeries are a thieving lot even though they only take what men deserve to lose." The release is not about unearthly or related imaginary, but it does provide a glimpse of the expressive environment where the group grew up. The liner notes play off that expressive upbringing and paint a verbal picture of a group that is having a lot of fun doing what they love, and it shows through in their high-energy sound.
I found What Men Deserve to Lose to be the band's best work to date. The first track The Locks & Rocks Reel opens with a series of chord changes strummed on the guitar that builds until the haunting sound of pipes blows in, and the tempo, along with the infused sound of the horn section, picks up to a serious level. With a distinct backbeat, this song will get people involved and dancing. The track The Invergarry Blues is a distinct blues sound and contains all the great riffs and changes that you would expect from a blues group with the addition of a sassy horn and keyboard section. The track Jason's Famous Banjo is a beautiful blend of sounds with Adam Sutherland's fiddle, Peter Morison's superb piping, and the accompaniment of the horn section. There's A Girl Behind The Bar Who Thinks She's Garbo is dedicated to, "all those barmaids in New York City who tell you they're an actress while chatting you up for tips." The track is all about Adam and his fiddle with a backdrop of that all so familiar for a New Yorker, the New York police siren; you definitely hear a story through his fiddle. Now where is the tip glass? The liner notes are great and definitely correspond to their respective track, such as the track Ramasaig (liner note: "The picturesque site of a cleared village near Dunvegan where Peter's grandparents lived as shepherds, and a popular spot for fishing"), the melody casts the imagery of soft green grass blowing in the wind and of shimmering pools, it is a perfect complement to the image cast by the liner note. The last track NYUP (liner note: "NYUP is a fun word to pepper your conversation with... Repeat as necessary"), and the melody is whimsical and spicy, so let your imagination have some fun.
The release is about the virtuoso of this group and their ability to blend many distinct and varied melodies. The Peatbog Faeries is a group that is not defined by a genre, but by their ability to create compelling tracks that will have you looking forward to the next track and the repeat button.
Websites where you can procure Peatbog Faeries - What Men Deserve to Lose are Peatbog Faeries, CD Universe, Amazon (UK), and Music in Scotland.
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