Equation,
The Lucky Few
(Putumayo, 1999)

Equation have found themselves at the forefront of a recent folk music revival in Britain. Having thoroughly enjoyed their U.S. debut Hazy Daze, I was eager to hear their follow-up, The Lucky Few. I was not disappointed.

Equation combines the guitar, fiddle and songwriting talents of brothers Seth and Sean Lakeman with the beautiful vocals of Kathryn Roberts. The Lakeman brothers and Kathryn had already become established solo acts on the British folk circuit before they joined forces to form Equation.

The Lucky Few is full of very appealing folk-pop melodies. Their sound has been compared to 10,000 Maniacs and the Corrs. They are also influenced by classic British folk bands like Fairport Convention and Pentangle.

Those familiar with Equation will notice a slightly edgier sound this time, most evident on the CD's opening track, "Not The Man," and "Picture The Change." Both "Mother And Child" and "Sheffield Park" show the band's more traditional folk-rock side. The other 10 songs are examples of the Lakeman's strong songwriting talents. "Hard Underground" has the sound of a ballad, with a soft airy sound

Equation's sound combines the guitars of Sean Lakeman and James Crocker. The always-present fiddle of Seth Lakeman alternates between providing beautiful accents to being driving and intense. Seth's vocal harmonies also complement nicely to Kathryn's airy, yet powerful sounding vocals. Adding the bass of Darren Edwards and the drums of Iain Goodall, this Devon, England-based band has a sound that only gets better with repeated listenings. When you combine excellent songwriting and musicianship, the result is a CD that you can listen to without wanting to skip any tracks. My only complaint was that the song lyrics were not included.

Equation is a band that deserves a listen.

[ by Dave Townsend ]



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