Release Date: Apr 30, 2013
Record label: Navigator
The aim, say the band, is to "banish all that is anodyne and fey in the delivery of folk music", and the second Faustus album succeeds thanks to a blend of energy and musicianship that establishes this trio as one of Britain's outstanding folk bands. The only confusion is that they are already members of other outstanding folk bands. Guitarist Benji Kirkpatrick and fiddle/oboe player Paul Sartin are members of Bellowhead, while melodeon-player Saul Rose is best known for his work with the Carthy family.
On the opening, title track of their latest release Broken Down Gentlemen, the three rowdy men of Faustus repeat: “I spent my time in vanity, and that was the ruin of me.” The question is, was it? After all, vanity can be a tricky thing. With this record, English folk supergroup Faustus (Saul Rose, Paul Sartin and Benji Kirkpatrick) made it their express mission to “to banish all that is anodyne and fey in the delivery of folk music”. But rather than writing new folk songs with an organic, unaffected feel, Faustus has recorded 10 songs from the traditional English folk canon.
Traditional folk arrangements redrawn in a refreshingly sophisticated style. Colin Irwin 2013 The bold mission statement accompanying this album declares that Faustus – a trio involving melodeon kingpin Saul Rose and two Bellowheads, Paul Sartin and Benji Kirkpatrick – are driven by a desire to “banish all that is anodyne and fey in the delivery of folk music”. And let’s drink to that.