Oliver Young & the Powder Keg
The Wind That Howls
Young bucks throw their hat into the folk ring
This young band have been turning heads and ears in and around the cooler parts of London town this summer, and it’s easy to see why from this five-track sampler EP.
Starting with a nice line in Delta blues, Young’s voice sounds just on the right side of gritty and world-weary on “Hesitation Blues”, and I must mention his impressive and dexterous finger picking. We take a left hand diversion on the next track, “The Wind That Howls”, as it neatly combines a rootsy folk vocal with some jazz-lite playing from Young on guitar and the tight rhythm section of Ian Siddy and Martin Holliday.
I had to remind myself that this is a sampler because The Powder Keg go all-out modern folk on the third track “Powder Keg Diplomacy”. It’s full of clever lyrics and showcases the band at their very best. My favourite track is “High Flying Bird”, which carries on from the previous song but features the delightful voice of Amanda Larson on harmonies. I doubt these youngsters have ever heard of a band called String Driven Thing who I adored in the early 1970’s and who, apart from the lack of a violin, sounded exactly like this.
The final song “Own Damn Bad Luck” again includes Larson, but the highlight is a pretty damn fine harmonica solo halfway through. An impressive start from Oliver Young & the Powder Keg, and there’s plenty to build on, once they decide which path to take.
Released October 2nd 2014