The Will Pound Band – ‘A Cut Above’
I remember the story of this guy from Newcastle who played the harmonica… Badly! People would be having a jam or whatever in the Park and this guy would come along and play crazy mouth organ too loud and without any real resemblance to what everyone else was playing. Tie this together with my only other real experience of harmonica being Dylan and you may forgive me slightly for ignoring the discipline a bit.
However, my musical narrow-mindedness has eaten a thoroughly large portion of humble pie in the form of Will Pound and his debut album ‘A Cut Above’. What I had always presumed was a musical side dish, never having heard anything to convince me otherwise, has now been shown to me to be well and truly able to hold its own at the forefront of musical arrangements.
Will pound, a 26 year old from Rugby, has been creating quite a name for himself in the folk circuit with the duo ‘Walsh and Pound’ and having been nominated for ‘Musician of the Year’ in the 2012 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. Now, however, we see him going it alone with a new band – Henry Webster on violin, Chris Sarjeant on guitar and John Parker wandering around on the double bass – and this debut album. Also featuring on the album are a host of special guests, including Tim Edey (the eventual winner of ‘Musician of the Year’) and guitarist Martin Simpson to name a few. With all of this, a backdrop is laid for this “demon harmonica player”* to show what he can do!
*As described by Mike Harding BBC Radio 2
I happened across Will Pound when I was trawling through youtube on a celtic music trip and found the videos ’93 Not Out’ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBpwGH-SASo) and ‘Waxy’s (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzuM76cL_-E). The videos see Will and his band performing their numbers on the banks of a canal. Just for the record, this wasn’t just a a soul-less gimmicky backdrop to go with the music… He actually lives on a house boat with his wife Nicky. I’ve heard it gets pretty cold in the winter but I can imagine it would be a lovely setting to make music to.
The album is a melting pot of different styles. From the contemporary arrangements of his own, like the title track ‘A Cut Above’ (co-written with his better half), to the more traditional set ‘Soldiers Joy/Floating Candle/The Dutchess. My personal highlight; the amazingly refreshing version of ‘Amazing Grace’, aided by the impeccable, wandering bass lines of John Parker. Without hyperbole, the best version of the song I have ever heard! You also get a healthy dose of bluegrass, which always goes down smoothly! Cut a long story short, this whole album will have you rabidly searching for more music from the world of harmonica. And that, I can promise you, is not a wasted mission.
Get the album…. really! It has its official launch on the 2nd of October at the Old Queens Head in Islington (tickets available via www.theoldqueenshead.com) and you can get it from various music shops and www.willpound.com from October 28th. If you’re feeling particularly itchy to get your hands on it by all means pre-order it from http://www.propermusic.com/product-details/Will-Pound-A-Cut-Above-154581.
Follow them on Twitter if you fancy @willpoundband and like them on Facebook too. A search for ‘The Will Pound Band’ should see you there funnily enough.
About the author
I'm currently studying English Language as an undergraduate at Sussex Uni. I love music with a passion and a good debate is where I like to be. I would probably argue the colour of snow with an Eskimo if given the opportunity! I'm a pacifist, a bit of a lefty and I hate the rubbish that we are continually fed everyday by the government, media, banks etc. Love music though, just so we're clear LA LUTTE CONTINUE