Album Review - Sásta / Pure Wreckín' Match

This is a strong and focused recording by Australian group Sásta.  It’s their second album and takes them on a new journey as a trio having lost one member since their self-titled debut in 2012.  If anything this has focused their music because they deliver a fine recording of modern traditional music with a folk edge. Newly arrived in Oz, their music is still uncontaminated by foreign influence and they remain true to their musical roots back home.  The band features Joe Murray on fiddle, Rocky Towey on accordion and Mick Hughes on guitar and vocals.  

With a strong percussive beat they deliver 10 tracks of which 4 are songs.  The Opening jig/reel set Plastic Fantastic features strong fiddle work with flourishes of accordion interspersed into the early part of the set.  They use this technique throughout, building the tracks firstly on guitar, before the melody makers kick in. Brush the Donkeys Teeth is another example with a mellow guitar introduction paving the way for fiddle and flute in a set that has emotion and texture.  There is a confident maturity to this recording yielded out of a simpler approach to the music.  The vocal tracks that include From Galway to Graceland by Richard Thompson and Johnny Don’t Go by John Spillane are also confidently handled with sufficient restraint to give them a warm feel. Some additional pipes and whistle by Kevin Higgins soften some of the edges when required.  It’s a sign of the times we live in when traditional albums of genuine worth are now being exported from Australia. A pretty good second album from Sásta.

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