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Foghorn Leghorn - Not Before Time

  by Cila Warncke

published: 15 / 8 / 2013

Foghorn Leghorn - Not Before Time
Label: Slammer Records
Format: CD


Disconcerting but highly impressive combination of bluegrass, Americana and old-fashioned country on fourth album from veteran Clerkenwell-based group, Foghorn Leghorn

There is something a bit disconcerting about proper, old-fashioned, whisky-in-the-jar bluegrass straight out of Clerkenwell. But that is exactly what you get on ‘Not Before Time’ the fourth album released by London outfit Foghorn Leghorn in the course of their 21-year career. Forget for a moment the London connection; this is as juicy and satisfying a jaunt through the musical traditions of rural America as you’re likely to find. Listen closely and you’ll hear fiddle, mandolin and plenty of finger-flying guitar picking. Lyrically, ‘Runner Up’ does a fine job recounting the tale of a woman who is inexorably drawn to the “lights of town” leaving the lovelorn troubadour the “runner up in love’s cruel game.” There are plenty more tales of love gone wrong, notably ‘Either Or’ which cries, “the more you love/ the more you’re alone.” Elsewhere, ‘My Lord’ is either a deeply religious song, or a semi-blasphemous ode to romance – personally, I hope it’s the latter. Completing the triumvirate of thematic touch-points (sex, God and death) is ‘Smoking Gun’ a ferociously catchy murder ballad that serves up a messy dish of betrayal and brutality. Foghorn Leghorn saves the best for last though with the moving, hymn-like ‘Brother O Brother’, whose stately pace does a lot to offset the sometimes frenetic fretwork in tunes like ‘Nobody Knows’. ‘Not Before Time’ is admirably, unabashedly niche and a winning testament to the skills of a band that has honed its craft over two decades of hard gigging. Aficionados of bluegrass, Americana and old-fashioned country will revel in the virtuoso musicality and the deft lyrics. Hopefully it will inspire a new audience to see Foghorn Leghorn live on their every-second-Thursday-of-the-month residency at London’s Betsy Trotswood pub because this is music best experienced with a jar of bourbon in one hand and a sweaty grip on your gal, or guy, with the other.

Track Listing:-
1 Pizza Boy
2 Tube Trains
3 Runner Up
4 Either Or
5 Shut Your Face
6 Petersburg Gal
7 My Lord
8 Boy In The Machine
9 Smoking Gun
10 Madeleine
11 Nobody Knows
12 Brother O Brother

Band Links:-

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