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Megson – On the Side


Megson are a young English folk duo consisting of Stu Hanna and Debbie Palmer, and while their mixture of self written and trad material owes much to the work of contemporary folk artists such as Kate Rusby, Cara Dillon and Equation, they have a distinct and individual approach that makes their debut album stand out from the crowd.

They move from intimate acoustics and delicate vocals, though to driving guitars and soaring harmonies with equal confidence, and this versatility suits their choice material perfectly as folk influences and pop sensibilities fuse together throughout.

Vocal duties are shared across the album although Debbie takes most of the songs; she has strong, clear and unaffected voice ideally suited to this style of contemporary folk music, and the two sound excellent singing together.

Considering the range of styles and sounds on offer the instrumentation is deceptively simple with only guitars, mandola, bouzouki, whistle and keyboards used; rhythm and shape is generally provided by the excellent guitar work of Hanna.

The duo are as equally confident on quieter songs as they are on rockier tracks, and the standout numbers cover a broad range of styles – ‘Grace Darling’ is a trad song set to a new and dynamic backing that compliments the lyrics perfectly, ‘Maid on the Shore’ is another trad piece with an excellent arrangement that really stands out, and ‘Rose on the Stem’ is their own song, and a great folk/rock crossover track with powerful vocal performances.

‘On the Side’ is an excellent album, it’s instantly appealing and full of strong songs – they’ve chosen the traditional songs well and have arranged them to sit perfectly alongside their own compositions.  The fact that this was performed, recorded and produced by the pair alone makes this album a remarkable achievement.  Very highly recommended.



CD (Cat No: 13001)


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