THE EAST POINTERS – What We Leave Behind (East Pointers Music EPCD17)

What We Leave BehindA trio from Canada’s East Coast, fiddler and nasally-voiced singer Tim Chaisson, banjo player Koady Chaisson and guitarist Jake Charron serve up bluegrassy songs and instrumentals in equal measure, the former getting What We Leave Behind rolling with a medley of the moodily atmospheric banjo-led ‘Tanglewood’ and the more spirited fiddle tune ‘A Good Head, A Good Heart’.

That’s followed by the first of the vocal numbers, ‘82 Fires’, a slow-paced, almost worksong rhythm number inspired by the wildfires that were burning during their tour of Tasmania. Then it’s back to ‘Party Wave’, another instrumental medley, here of the foostomping banjo tune Space Camp, fiddle tune Beyond The Break and the surfing-inspired fiddle/handclaps title itself.

And so they pretty much continue to alternate, ‘Two Weeks’, a melodically catchy song about having to leave friends and family to work away as Chaisson sings “Nobody warned me I’d leave there so broken, come back so lonely”, and the folk pop of ‘Miner’s Dream’ sandwiching the album’s reflective, banjo-led Celtic-hued title track. There’s a brace of instrumentals in a row with the lively reel ‘Pour Over’ and the slower five-minute plus two part ‘The Crossing’.

Closing the set, ‘No Bridge Too Far’, a nimbly-played medley of three more Celtic-infused tune, is bookended by the lilting shanty-toned swayalong ‘John Wallace’, the story of a 19th century shipwreck off the Prince Edward Island coast, and ‘Hid In Your Heart’, a slow, moving and yearning ballad about the loss of a loved one, though whether that’s to death or betrayal is open to interpretation.

On tour in the UK through October, this promises to boost their reputation and following no end.

Mike Davies

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Not on the album but we had to include The East Pointers version of ‘Heroes’: