Live at The Floor - February 2004 This month’s floor was sold out and ticket only due to the appearance of Albion Band fiddler Joe Broughton and legendary guitarist Kevin Dempsey - in fact we had to change the seating for the first time to fit as many people in as possible...After the interval we had the cyclonic Broughton and Dempsey set. Worth waiting all this time for, we heard two professional musicians at full throttle. They mesh extremely well. Joe Broughton’s violin technique is dazzling - classically trained but with a smattering of many styles, always virtuosic. The material is mostly self-penned including “Accidentals waiting to happen“, a syncopated set played at blistering speed and peppered with accidentals, quotes from the Hot Club of France and East European rhythms. Kevin Dempsey playing an outsize guitar (a Gretsch), matched this with zest, perfect timing and chunky rhythms. Joe Broughton’s violin was made locally by the Leominster luthier John Langstaffe. This enthralling and mind–boggling music was accompanied by some off-beat humour, and you could be sure that no other two musicians could sound just like that. It is a pleasure to have such a sound in a small venue, and once again we are grateful to all the performers and to the audience who listen so carefully and appreciatively.
Every Other World
I have admired Kevin Dempsey’s musicianship (and character) from the days of Whippersnapper band and before. He is the epitome of class guitarists: sensitive, imaginative and accurate. Joe Broughton is a perfect foil, playing violin with equal flair and technique. The resultant is greater than the sum of the parts. It is nigh impossible to categorise the music they make together. Kevin’s voice is distinctive, unmistakeable. And I always feel that he genuinely loves the traditional songs he chooses to sing. I suppose it’s part of the reviewer’s brief to pigeon-hole albums in some way, simply to give the reader a foretaste of what to expect on buying the work. This has been one of the most difficult to describe. There is a temptation to compare this with Django Rheinhardt and Stephane Grappelli. But I don’t recall them ever making me think twice about traditional British music. I suppose if I told most folkies that this is a bit jazzy, they’d go away thinking about Kenny Ball. It’s a lot better than I’m making it sound. There are fast tracks, but I let the last track fade with a feeling of inner content and serenity. Superb musicianship, brilliant conception and execution. I’m unlikely to attempt any emulation of this style – it’s beyond my capability. But then, I’m still replaying Mozart string quartets and my old Beatles records too. I think this one will get worn out before I do. So , all you bands out there who think you can “jazz-up” folk music, hear this and weep!
Shreds & Patches Autumn/Winter 2002
"The collaboration between ex-Whippersnapper guitarist Kevin Dempsey and Albion Band's young fiddle player, Joe Broughton is very enjoyable, especially Broughton's reflective compositions that hint at his classical grounding, though unmistakably in a folk idiom...
...the combination of virtuosity and good taste is always engaging, as is the essential Englishness of his style. The "live in the studio" recording captures perfectly the empathetic interplay between these two fine musicians. With tunes from Turkey, Bulgaria and Ireland too, and one song from Dempsey, this varied album is well worth checking out."
Taplas, June 2002
"...as good as anything you are likely to hear in a long time...immaculately played, with feeling..."
The Ledge, July 2002