Since we last encountered Jaywalkers, original duo Jay Bradberry and Michael Giverin, have recruited double bassist Lucy Williams and gone on to be the first UK act to pick up a prize at the European World of Bluegrass Awards. Now, with 'Early For A Thursday', they deliver an album overflowing with confidence and refined songcraft.
Michael's writing has found a fresh depth and personality, typified by the single-minded protagonist of 'Lonesome Graveyard' - 'I'll be his wife or I'll take his life'. With chugging strings underlying the sweetest of fiddle lines it leads to a conclusion which could split opinion! More examples are the story of dashed hopes in 'Nashville Dreams', with Jay's stirring voice making the most of the heartache, or a tale of what could happen if the devil offers you three wishes in 'Drag You Down'.
The melding of Celtic and country continues through memorable instrumentals with the title track displaying the nimblest and most blissful wild playing. And they sound equally impressive for the slow burn of A.P. Carter's 'Jealous'. Hats off to the production team for the alive and kickin' vitality of the sound.
A cool trans-Atlantic trip by players who are adept enough to flirt with tradition yet retain an indefinable magnetism. David Kushar