Kate MacLeod and the Pancakes: Breakfast


SKU: 2005 Category:


Kate MacLeod has released several albums, recorded with Celtic band
Shanahy,done copious studio work, and played numerous folk festivals
around the country. She’s guest fiddled with The Chieftains, toured
Europe, and had her music played on NPR. Kate MacLeod and The Pancakes’
“Breakfast” features Kate’s vocals, guitar, fiddle and harmonica,
singer-guitarist Mark Hazel, bassist Barry Carter and drummer Cliff

“It’s less the bluegrassy/Celtic folk of her prior albums, and
more the
full-band singer-songwriter’s Americana. MacLeod’s mellifluous voice
and literate lyrics are unchanged, as are her virtuosic fiddling, but
the songs are more vibrant, less ethereal than before-one might even
venture to call it rock.” -Randy Harward Salt Lake City Weekly

In addition to Kate’s songs, the Pancakes perform songs selected from
the American and British Isles folk traditions. covers of Jack Hardy’s
“Forget Me Nots” and Dylan’s “Time Passes Slowly.”
The band’s sound sometimes recalls the British folk-rock band, Fairport
Convention, circa 1969.

1. Thirst Quencher (MacLeod)
2. Potter’s Wheel (MacLeod)
3. No More Cane (Traditional)
4. Forget-Me-Nots (Jack Hardy)
5. Autumn (MacLeod)
6. Love is Gone (MacLeod)
7. Gartan Mother’s Lullaby (Trad )
8. Whole World Round (Trad)
9. Handsome Molly (Trad)
10. Prodigal Son (Trad)
11. The Greenwood Side (Trad)
12. Balmy Song (MacLeod)
13. Time Passes Slowly (Bob Dylan)

Review: Roots Music Report, May 10, 2005
5 STARS. This album is just awesome.  Kate MacLeod presents her music as well as any has been presented.  A little bit of everything on this CD.  Kate’s music is honest and she delivers her message true and clear.  This is out of the ordinary folk music.  Unique and produced with expertise.  This release wil not be taken for granted by any Folk Music lover.  An outstanding project by Kate MacLeod and the Pancakes.

Breakfast is seen as somewhat of a departure from Kate’s previous (solo)
record, Feel The Earth Spin, in the obvious sense that it features a full-ish
band sound rather than a pared-down setting (though when I say band, I mean
just guitar, bass and drums, courtesy of Mark Hazel, Barry Carter and Cliff
Smith respectively). But Breakfast isn’t as radical a departure in the sense
that it’s still a showcase for Kate’s beautiful and melodious singing, which
is well to the fore and given ample room to breathe by the uncomplicated,
played-as-live arrangements. It all sounds really good, satisfyingly balanced
while remaining acutely listener-friendly; and there’s a kind of early-Fairport
feel about the proceedings, not least in the way that Kate doesn’t hog all the
limelight (Mark takes the lead vocal on Whole World Round and No More Cane,
and duets with Kate on Jack Hardy’s delicious Forget Me Nots and Dylan’s Time
Passes Slowly). And Kate’s well-regarded instrumental skills on fiddle,
acoustic and electric guitar and harmonica are satisfyingly represented in
the mix too. As far as repertoire goes, out of the thirteen tracks here, no
less than six of the songs have their sources in tradition (American and
British), and they’re blessed with sensible acoustic folk-rock arrangements
which don’t threaten to overwhelm (I particularly liked what Kate does with
The Greenwood Side), and some are mighty tasty to boot (like the sparring
harmonica and fiddle work on Whole World Round). My only small reservation
among those six is No More Cane, which I feel is way too smooth for the
worksong/holler vibe of the original. Five of Kate’s songs complete the
set-list; these are every bit as poetic and literate as we’ve come to expect
from Kate, with a relaxed and contentedly reflective quality, the finest of
these new songs perhaps being Autumn and Love Is Gone. The five originals
also include a new arrangement of Potter’s Wheel (previously heard on Feel
The Earth Spin). Kate’s vibrant and perennially attractive writing style,
combined with her skill in making traditional material come up fresh in these
new band arrangements, makes Breakfast a very winning release indeed, which I
actually much prefer to some of the more-lauded folk-rock ventures of recent

David Kidman


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