Review: Stark – Stories From The Ground (EP)

Posted on: Friday, May 16, 2014

Stark EP.jpg

Stark – Stories From The Ground (EP)


Stark are an exceptionally talented trio based in Brighton. Their music cannot be pigeonholed, but it has a leaning towards folk rock with overtones of blues thrown in. Their EP ‘Stories From The Ground’ uses their own material and stretches their incredible musical expertise to a new dimension.

Jamie Francis fronts the band on vocals, guitar, banjo and mandolin, with Joshua ‘Rusty’ Franklin on vocals, bass and keyboard, and Evan Carson on drums and percussion.

The first track on this exciting album is ‘Let’s Fall Down Together’. A great mix of playing and instruments, giving an interesting sound with a variety of rhythms and some super bass. A definite leaning towards folk rock on this number. Following this is ‘Killing Floor’, acoustic magic mixed with electric, which works really well with the rocky bass and the high octane drumming. A well put together track that leans more towards rock.

Probably my favourite track ‘Faith’, is an acoustic number, leaning towards bluegrass with some excellent finger picking guitar with influences of Kelly Joe Phelps perhaps. A well sung and played number, with a bluesy feel. A change on the next track ‘Ghost’. This number, reminiscent of Clannad, has wonderful harmonies and definitely folk rock at its best. Superb guitar work with influences of Derek Trucks maybe, with bluesy overtones.

‘Hundred For An Inch’ again has superb finger picking guitar. A great feeling to the song in the vocals and the playing, super folk rock, love it! The last track on this class album is ‘Ball And Chain’, which is a great rootsy up tempo number with excellent slide guitar, a real foot stomper. A great final track on this superbly fresh album.

It is so good to listen to music from the young and talented and ‘Stark’ are no exception. This album puts them on par with longstanding musicians and I will look forward to hearing more of their work in the future.

ROSY GREER – Lancashire Blues Archive & Independent Reviewer

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