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Westward Ho!


Artist: Police Dog Hogan
Label: Union Music Store
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 06 October 2014

Police Dog Hogan incorporates eight members in its full line-up, with instruments including guitar, accordion, banjo, mandolin, fiddle and trumpet. The group draw their influences from Americana, country-folk, folk-pop and even urban bluegrass, but if you're trying to pigeonhole them you'll have a job as they seem to be masters of so many genres.

With an average age comfortably over 40, Police Dog Hogan offer more in the way of experience than innocence. While the members hold down a variety of what might be described as “day jobs” (their banjo player Tim Dowling is a writer and Guardian columnist; lead singer James Studholme runs an advertising production company), they take the music very seriously, and keep up a rigorous touring schedule, recently playing to sell-out crowds at Bush Hall, the Borderline and various venues across the UK, as well as festivals including Camp Bestival, Cornbury, Maverick and Kendal Calling.

Westward Ho! is their third album and contains 12 tracks (43 min, 53 sec) of catchy, memorable tracks. From the timeless opening 'Thunderheads' to the classic old world sound of the album's closing 'No Wonder She Drinks' there's more than a handful of favourites for everyone's tastes.

There are amusing stories buried in 'West Country Boy' (which is also this album's major toe-tapping feel good single; and 'Crackington'. There's also humour (and a lot of truth) in the lyrics of 'A Man Needs A Shed'.

Whether you're a folk fan or not, there's plenty here for you to enjoy.


Nick Smithson

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