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Hayman, Watkins, Trout and Lee - Hayman, Watkins, Trout and Lee

  by Benjamin Howarth

published: 25 / 5 / 2008

Hayman, Watkins, Trout and Lee - Hayman, Watkins, Trout and Lee
Label: Fortuna POP!
Format: CD


Compelling new album from Hayman, Watkins, Trout and Lee, the bluegrass side project of among others former Hefner front man Darren Hayman and Wave Pictures singer David Tattersall, who have adapted their country-influenced music to make it sound like the traditional music of North London

Although Hefner’s last album was released over half a decade ago, singer Darren Hayman still uses the band’s mailing list to keep fans up to date with his solo outings. He has advertised the various outings of his bluegrass quarter for quite a while now, but I had never got the impression they were much more than a jovial little hobby. So what a pleasant surprise this first album is then. There are a number of cover versions and traditional songs, most impressively two excellent takes on Townes Van Zandt, and one composition from Watkins, whose first name is Dave. But its biggest draw are the songs from Hayman and from the Wave Pictures’ David Tattersall, which rival their efforts of their full time projects, and benefit from Hayman, Watkins, Trout and Lee’s honest take on bluegrass. Far from mucking around, they have made this sound entirely authentic. Hayman, Watkins, Trout and Lee don’t pretend to be American, instead they make country sound like the traditional music of North London. Giving the music its edge is the violin of the quartet’s fourth member Dan Mayfield. It is never made clear which of Trout or Lee he happens to be, but you may recognise him as a feature of recent Wave Pictures and Darren Hayman live performances. Made in a dash over two days in Darren’s Walthamstow home last October, it always sounds as if those involved were enjoying themselves. This will appeal to Hefner and Wave Pictures fans, naturally, but also has a loose charm that suggests an appeal to a far wider audience. A lovely album.

Track Listing:-
1 Sly and the Family Stone
2 That's Why She Left Me (Why She Came Back)
3 Tecumseh Valley
4 Buckdancer's Choice
5 Fine Young Cannibals
6 Hesitation Blues
7 Jam-Eater Blues
8 Napoleon Crossing the Rhine
9 Loretta
10 I Should Have Told Her
11 Beulah Crossing the Marches
12 High Blood Pressure
13 Dirty Tube Train
14 Bethnal Green

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