Exposé Online banner

Tempest — Thirty Little Turns
(Magna Carta , 2018, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2018-06-02

Thirty Little Turns Cover art

Given my love of Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span, and Boiled in Lead, it would seem like Tempest should be part of my musical life when it comes to folk-rock. But there’s so much music in the world, and only so much time, that while I was aware of the band’s existence, I never ended up hearing anything other than Turn of the Wheel (1996). Given the music presented on Thirty Little Turns, my ignorance is not an indicator of any lack of quality in Tempest’s music. The album title refers to the fact that 2018 is the 30th anniversary of the band’s existence, and such longevity speaks to the enduring nature of this kind of music. If you think of the bands I’ve already mentioned, and add Wolfstone and Horslips, you’re in the right area. Tempest presents a somewhat harder-rocking sound than Fairport or Steeleye, but lacks the punk overtones of some Boiled in Lead. Take rocked-up renditions of folk tunes from the British Isles, add some hot fiddle playing, and top it off with strong vocals including great male-female harmonies, and you’ve got the idea. There are additional features worth mentioning, such as excellent flute, melodic bass parts, and an imaginative cover of “Norwegian Wood,” all of which should convince anyone with an interest in folk-rock that this is a band worthy of attention. My problem with this is that it means I have a dozen or so albums from their past that I need to investigate! I curse my own hunger for good music… Anyway, it is apparent that the members of this band are very good at what they do, and are having a good time doing it. Original members Lief Sorbye (mandolin, vocals) and Adolfo Lazo (drums) are joined by Kathy Buys (fiddle), Ab Menon (guitar), and Josh Fossgreen (bass), of whom Menon is a newcomer while the others have appeared on at least one previous recording. Five of the ten tunes are at least partly traditional, including one (“Trolldans”) which I think is Swedish; the remaining tracks (barring the previously mentioned Lennon / McCartney cover and a set of reels credited to Patrick Caryannis and Paul Meehan) were penned by band members in varying combinations, with Sorbye the most active composer. The tunes range from delicate acoustic parts to hard-rocking energy, all done with the same care to detail. For fans of folk-rock, I can’t think why Thirty Little Turns wouldn’t scratch the itch — it’s a fine effort all round, and a rollicking good time.


Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): Tempest

More info
http://tempestcelticrock.bandcamp.com/album/thirty-little-turns

Latest news

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Glenn Branca - The Ascension – This is a long overdue re-issue of Branca's first LP, before the days of the army of guitars, but well past his punk days. On this album, Branca was joined by three other guitarists, a bassist,...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues