Now is the Time was such a phenomenal debut album from Green Diesel that following it up was promptly set as a Herculean task but somehow they managed to surpass themselves in style with the release of their utterly remarkable Wayfarers All.
Wayfarers All is a wonderful collection of folk-rock melodies that wouldn’t be out of place on a battle-scared ship sailing the open seas. Whilst the album mixes a variety of styles from traditional folk to sea shanties, driving rock melodies can be heard underlying almost all of their songs. Songs such as Oak, Ash and Thorn have a unique quality to them that allows them to sound both contemporary and traditional while shanties such as A Fisherman Once have such a timeless quality to them that it could easily be a classic sea-farers song. It is also incidentally a rare treat to hear the full vocal talents of Matt Dear as it is the first track released by the band with him singing lead which he does amazingly.
Where Green Diesel truly make their mark is in the fact that their music has the capacity to transcend time itself. Close your eyes while you listen to them and your minds eye can pick virtually any point in history. Their lyrics and the harmonious vocalisations with which they bring them to life all shout of traditional, timeless folk ballads while it is then combined with outstanding electric guitar solos and driving basslines. Let no Man Steal your Thyme, Shiny O and May Song are all prime examples of this as they promptly blow you away with their stylish melodies, quick-fire violin and in one case a truly outstanding mandolin solo.
Wayfarers All takes the opportunity to display just how talented this young group of musicians is. Their work throughout the album is completely flawless but it is in their instrumentals that they really begin to show their skills. The Southcliffe Jig is almost indescribable in its jubilance and mirth – it’s a truly fantastical piece that allows each member of the band of emphasize their skills. The album is filled with dancing violins, deft mandolin tunes, electrifying guitar solos, basslines and drum beats that compel your limbs to dance and it’s all capped off with wonderful accordion tunes. They compliment all of this with their beautiful vocals, lead by the charismatic and soulful voice of Ellen Care and backed up by the rest of the band.
Wayfarers All is a mesmeric, jubilant and exciting album full of life from a group that is undoubtedly one of the most talented on the folk circuit today. It’s a bold, contemporary album full of astounding vocal performances and even more astounding musical feats. This album should be a requirement for every CD rack and iTunes library.
For more information on Green Diesel, check out their website here: