Hunter Muskett “Unafraid and Sober” (Independent 2018)

Now reformed for longer than their original incarnation (1968-1974) Hunter Muskett reconvened in 2010 in the the excellent Aspinall Arms near Clitheroe after a Cherry Red re-release of one of their originals garnered more than a little praise. They liked it so much they set about recording again and Unafraid and Sober is the second album and not a shabby job it is at all.

Lots of tightly woven folk flavours all propelled by by some great instrumentation and carefully balanced harmonies. There is evidently a great deal of pleasure being had here indeed; Cairo romps along with joy.
The songwriting is almost all down to Terry Hiscock, just the one for Doug Morter, and it is uniformly strong despite the changing styles amongst them. Particularly strong is North of Clear Lake an elegiac road song with some nuanced lead guitar sidestepping into a verse of Paul Anka ’s I Guess It Doesn’t Matter Anymore on the back of some great plucked strings – very neat and arresting.

There is a sense here of some seasoned pros making an album of songs just for the joy of putting things together, just for the satisfaction of seeing it all come good and for sure the material is supper club more than sweaty club but certain songs are worth more than just a passing listen, for instance the aforementioned North of Clear Lake and also the title track with its Knopfleresque guitar lines. Investigate with confidence.

Author: Keith Hargreaves

Riding the one eyed horse into dead town the scales fell from his eyes. Music was the only true god at once profane and divine The dust blew through his mind as he considered the offering... And then he scored it out of ten and waited for the world to wake up

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