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Pastures of Plenty

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Album Review

Released in 1998, Pastures of Plenty was the JSD Band's first album of new material in roughly 25 years. The 1997 album For the Record consisted of re-recorded acoustic versions of past songs. This album introduces banjo and dobro player Rab Mairs and reinstates original multi-instrumentalist Des Coffield (mandolin, guitars, keyboards) to their lineup, so their sound is slightly more robust on this recording. They've also allowed for the option to rock when the occasion calls, something that For the Record didn't. Acoustically, they resemble fellow Scottish folk group Old Blind Dogs, who, quite possibly, were influenced by early-period JSD Band. Their uniqueness, however, is evidenced when the electric guitar is unleashed, as exemplified on "The Downfall of Paris, the Chanter's Tune." That song also allows for tasteful flute and saxophone passages by Sean O'Rourke. With the exception of fiddler Chuck Flemming's "Shake Loose the Border," this album is comprised of traditional pieces like "Spanish Lady" and "Shady Grove," the former being the most recognizable while the remaining tracks border on the obscure.


Formed: 1969

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '90s, '00s

One of the most promising folk-rock bands of the early-1970s, The JSD Band failed to live up to its potential. Although they were once ranked on an even par with Fairport Convention, Pentangle and Steeleye Span, the group disbanded in July 1974, citing commercial pressures, musical differences, family obligations and exhaustion as factors. Restricted to being a cherished memory for more than two decades, the JSD Band reformed in 1997 with renewed hope and optimism. Two subsequent albums -- For The...
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