Release date: May 3rd, 2016
Running time: 42:55, 10 tracks
More Celtic rock from Canada. After having released a debut album based on covers, Derina Harvey Band are back with another album featuring some original songwriting. Derina Harvey (vocals, acoustic guitar), Steven Pinsent (drums, percussion), Scott Greene (electric guitar, vocals), Edward Smith (bass, keyboards, vocals) and Matthew O’Connor (fiddle, banjo and mandolin) have recorded a well-balanced album featuring some well-known songs and a bunch of Canadian classics.
The album opens with the titled track “Rove and Go”, a song that “depicts the resilience of the Newfoundland and Labrador people during the resettlement of many of their communities”. Awesome number featuring banjo, brilliant fiddling by Matthew and great vocals performance by Derina.
The second track is a cover of Dougie MacLean’s “Caledonia”. The Scottish unofficial anthem was also covered by the Dutch band Scrum and Derina Harvey Band’s rendition is amazing too. Derina sings the poignant lyrics as if she had wrote them herself and the rest of the band backs her perfectly. I love the fiddle arrangements and the “Nashville” twist.
On track number 3, the traditional song “Sarah”, Derina Harvey Band moves to the Great Big Sea musical territory and, obviously, they do it as if they hail from Newfoundland too. The song begins with Derina singing a cappella and the boys doing the backing vocals, but soon it gets a full band electric treatment. The rhythm section and the electric guitar do a great job. Another highlight on the album.
“Galway Girl” has become the “latest” Celtic standard, as a lot of Celtic punk / Celtic rock bands have covered this song in the last 2-3 years. The cover begins acoustically, and fiddle, bass and drums join soon. Excellent fiddle and mandolin arrangements together with Derina’s powerful vocals.
“Sheilagh’s Brush” is the band’s second original effort. They have added a new part to the usual set of tunes “Tam Lin/Catharsis”.
“The Last Shanty” is a song written by Tom Lewis, an English songwriter living in Canada. Once again, DHB gives the song a Figgy Duff / Great Big Sea twist. And the fiddle tune that has been added rocks!!!
Celtic punk/rock fans are familiar with Ewan MacColl, and new fans are not aware of the work made by other excellent songwriters like Scottish/Australian Eric Bogle and Canadian Stan Rogers, the man who wrote “Barrett’s Privateers”. “The Mary Ellen Carter” is another fantastic song written by Stan. Once again, DHB reminds us that there is a big treasure chest of songs to pick up instead of covering the usual Irish pub standards that every single band has already covered.
“The Last Saskatchewan Pirate” is maybe what their neighbours from the South call Canadian self-deprecating humour. IMHO, The Arrogants Worms’ song is a kick-ass number and DHB’s rendition gives Captain Tractor’s a run for their money.
“Spancil Hill” is a well-known song that has been covered, for instance, by The Corrs and Christy Moore (it was also covered by Christy Moore and Shane MacGowan at a TV show). DHB has really worked on the song and the electric guitar arrangements are rad.
The album ends up with “Song for the Mira”, a song by Allister MacGillivray. It’s a live unedited solo studio recording.
The four panels depict the front cover (a painting of the house being towed across the ocean to a new home), a “letter” to the fans by Derina, a sheet stating the songs credits, studio credits, line-up and band’s pic and the rear cover with the tracklist and a big band’s pic. The album was funded and produced by the band and recorded at Power Studios in Edmonton. Scott Greene engineered the album and it was mastered in Hollywood, CA, by Mike Wells Mastering. The artwork was made by Sheilagh Harvey and the layout and design by Kyna Harvey.
“Rove and Go” is a highly recommendable album. Yes, there are a lot of covers, but they are not the usual covers. Moreover, DHB add something new to every single song that they have covered. I don’t like to listen to a cover that is an exact copy of the original and DHB have done a great job. And the Canadian spirit can be noticed all along the album. Grab a copy straightaway!
01 – Rove and Go 4:10
02 – Caledonia 4:50
03 – Sarah 3:19
04 – Galway Girl 3:06
05 – Sheilagh’s Brush 3:04
06 – The Last Shanty 3:46
07 – The Mary Ellen Carter 6:06
08 – The Last Saskatchewan Pirate 4:47
09 – Spancil Hill 5:21
10 – Song for the Mira 4:05
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Review by Kinksmarkham