With its keen social message and unique blend of influences, this album of Celtic folk rock is worth a listen
The third album from Worcestershire/Gloucestershire-based Celtic folk band Roving Crows sees them develop their propulsive sound and deliver their keenest social message yet. For some, it will be the political and environmental warnings which give Bury Me Naked its appeal, for others it will be the rocked-up rootsy music, which will no doubt delight crowds at Severn Sounds and Summer Solstice Festival this year.
The opening quartet of songs set the template of what is to follow. Their strong sense of social indignation begins on the opening title track. It laments the continued plight of the Native Americans, ably assisted by the fiddle of Caitlin Barrett and rhythmic percussion of Tim Downes-Hall. New York Love Song is a more personal tale, backed by a hypnotic arrangement. Frontman Paul O’Neill’s delivery is an earnest vehicle capable of carrying his own tales and the wider issues addressed on Refugee and Barrett is equally at home when fronting the gentle and affecting Riverside.
Not all the tracks are such a success, If I Had To Choose feels a little slight and the roots-reggae-rock of Passing On The Love is somewhat confused. Yet when they’re in full flow, as on the 10-minute epic Glory Bound, they’re a band capable of delivering a uniquely inspiring style. Bury Me Naked might not be the album that launches Roving Crows into the mainstream, but it will certainly delight the band’s existing fan base.
Verdict: Celtic fusion with a keen social conscience