Hunter Muskett – Unafraid and Sober

Album Review | Self Release | Review by Allan Wilkinson | Stars: 3/5

For those unfamiliar with the name Hunter Muskett, and do stop me if this sounds like egg sucking tuition, the three-piece version of the college band formed in London back in the heady days of 1969, playing at such notable venues as The Marquee and The Troubadour gaining a reputation on the scene as a folk group who use electric instruments. After a couple of albums, Everytime You Move (1970) followed by Hunter Muskett (1973) which saw the arrival of fourth member Roger Trevitt, joining original members Terry Hiscock, Chris George and Doug Morter, the band eventually called it a day in 1974. As the band drifted into distant memory and whose dusty LPs began commanding eyebrow raising price tags on Ebay, the band reformed in 2010 and soon had a comeback album on the shelves. That Was Then, This Is Now (2013), followed a series of live dates, which saw the band finding their own niche once again on a much changed live scene. The band’s latest release, Unafraid and Sober is a gentle album of mainly self-penned songs, each suitably crafted to include some fine guitar solos and mature arrangements. Added to the orginal songs such as “Fields of France”, “Next to Me” and the title song “Unafraid and Sober”, which features a beautiful guitar passage based on the traditional “Banks of the Bann” melody, the band invited along Pentangle’s Jacqui McShee to sing the ethereal Lal and Mike Waterson classic “The Scarecrow”. Along with this, we find tucked away in the coda of Terry Hiscock’s “North of Clear Lake”, a verse of Buddy Holly’s “I Guess it Doesn’t Matter Anymore”, which only adds to the tender simplicity of this enchanting album.