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The Pack "Twelve Little Devils" Selwyn Music SUNMCD005

A 12 strong folk orchestra of young musicians featuring the likes of clarinet, fiddles and trumpet, whistle and accordion, featuring some fine tunes from assorted traditions and a few vocals. The musicians are Lucy Nelson, Mi-ul Jary, Bella Hardy, Sophy Ball, Matt Nelson, Ian Stephenson, Emma Hardy, Talei Edwards, Sam Pirt, Chantel Noppen, Emily Ball and Joey Oliver - all new names to me and looking unconscionably young in their mugshots. They clearly know what they are doing, though, and have collected together an interesting programme ranging through Texas and Canada to Sweden and Turkey; stressing the similarities between traditional musics all over the world, rather than the differences, sometimes within one set of tunes.

Personal favourites include the stately Danish tune Ringen contrasted with Jay Ungar's Wizards Walk, the Reunion Jig and the Turkish Kaytagi. There's a live set called The Devil recorded at a bouncing festival. Whether folk economics will allow a group of this size to stay together we will have to wait and see, but they are an encouraging offshoot from the Folkworks Summer Schools most seem to have attended. Think Sharon Shannon meets Kathryn Tickell and you will get the flavour.

Bob Harragan

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This album was reviewed in Issue 49 of The Living Tradition magazine.