Red Herring 'The Mountain Valley Sessions' - Self-Release

Accomplished acoustic music from the Netherlands that features the trio of Arthur Deighton, Joram Peeters and Loes van Schaijk. The album is an interesting mix of original songs and classics. They open with a fair stab at Matty Groves and then run with such songs as older songs as Down In The Willow Gardens, Pretty Fair Maid and such newer material such as (with an obvious liking for Richard Thompson) I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight and Dimming Of The Day. Also in there is a version of, what is fast becoming a modern day classic cover, The Bob Dylan sourced song from Old Crow Medicine Show Wagon Wheel. Many of these songs are paired with an instrumental ending that give a pretty good idea of the band's skills.

There are a couple of original songs from Deighton and one from Peeters. The former has a strong voice and the later is adapt at bringing her balanced harmonies to the fore. The instrumentation is typical of such a venture with guitar, fiddle, banjo, mandolin and double bass featured throughout in what are, often, sparse, effective arrangements that do justice to their versions of the songs which, in truth, will never challenge the originals but within the context of the album (and live shows too) make for a varied set that by it's nature will immediately connect with a potential audience and to be fair Deighton's Never Understood is a pretty good song and hints at what may come in the future. As this is their debut album I image that in the future the balance of originals to outside material will substantially change with subsequent releases. 

Red Herring have made a solid and enjoyable album that many will enjoy and feel at home with the instantly familiar songs that does indeed have the feel of a open-fired genial session.