Kevin Breit & the Upper York Mandolin Orchestra 'Field Recording' - Poverty Playlist

Kevin Breit is quite an accomplished session musician with a string of collaborations to his name and a very diverse experience when it comes to musical voyages.  He has played with some top names, including Rosanne Cash, Janis Ian, Norah Jones, KD Lang and Cassandra Wilson.

In addition to releasing three solo recordings, Kevin has played with Harry Manx and a trio called Folkalarm, with whom he released an improvised, instrumental banjo recording.

I also discover that Kevin Breit holds a Juno Award in his native Canada for a CD that covered Neil Young songs with his Toronto residence band, Sister’s Euclid .

Field Recording should not work, as listening to an orchestra of Mandolins, Mandolas and Mandocellos across eleven songs is not everybody’s idea of a compelling experience. Apart from learning about the family of instruments in the mandolin family, thoughts jump to this offbeat concept sounding like something from another planet; but it has a strange hold over the listener and works in the adventurous style that blends the arrangements and melody together.

He can sound like Elvis Costello in his vocal delivery and Nothing About Us is a beautifully arranged song with a heartfelt vocal from Sue Patrick Breit – ‘It’s all about you and all about me, but nothing about us’. There is plenty of variety to choose from in the range of song styles on display, which move from the light strum of There Was a Girl, to the upbeat workout of King Kong Strut.

Johnny Dollar, loosely based on an old radio drama character and Big Bill Broonzy, a song that seeks to explore the love life of the American blues singer/songwriter, are enjoyable songs and the quirky structure of Bring Me Down ends the recording and leaves a sense of wanting just a little more.