Label: Navigator Released: 20th April (Out Now) Website: Folk music has the unique ability to powerfully evoke a by-gone era, to recall a sense of past tradition and to weave a song around it. Mawkin:Causley are a similarly unique proposition, a self described folk-boy band heavy on intricate fiddle passages, rousing accordion and good enunciation. Mawkin:Causley is actually a collaboration between instrumental outfit Mawkin and Jim Causley, and it’s a perfect pairing. Causley’s voice is expressive, carries a light Devonian twang and has a timbre to die for; the consummate instrumental talents of Mawkin provide a distinct and lush foundation. All of this would be meaningless without the cornerstones of contemporary folk; great lyrics and emotive tunes, and The Awkward Recruit does, of course, have these in abundance. The first two tracks will certainly give you an idea what to expect, the memorable character of the Jolly Broom-Man (‘...and therefore make me rue man!’) opening the album followed by the jolly fiddles and slightly manic vocals of L'Homme Arme. However, it is not until third track ‘Drummer Boy for Waterloo’ that the band hit their true stride. The ballad, chronicling the eponymous young boy’s short but brief stint in the English army, and evoking Rupert Brooke’s poetry, is heart-rending. A beautiful bridge with tapped harmonics tops it all off, although the pizzicato, Causley’s voice and the subtle percussive guitar hits combine in a really quite powerful segment that sums up what these guys do best. This genre however, no matter how much it pains me to say it, will simply not interest a good number of listeners. Mawkin:Causley are much more accessible than much folk; their lyrics understandable, the language relatively contemporary, and their sense of melody and arrangement wins out, yet they are nevertheless not so intent on dragging their style kicking and screaming into the mainstream.  In no way does the album suffer as a result, but this isn’t a clever hybrid attempting to win over a new generation of fans; although, of course, it should. The Awkward Recruit is a refreshing and dynamic take on the new folk revival. Rating: 8/10