It's up for debate as to which wave of 'folk revival' we currently inhabit. A genre more averse to development and evolution than most, it could be argued that folk has never really gone away, merely changed incrementally in its style two or three times in the last couple of centuries. This leaves contemporary peddlers of the form with a few unspoken rules and guidelines to follow, and there are now only a handful of influences from other genres that really work alongside folk that - as with accepted culinary combinations - the modern day palette has grown accustomed to.

Hampshire-based artist Ian Easton, long having gone under the moniker of The Widowmaker, is a fine example of present-day folk blending, carefully selecting various roots styles to add to his tales from the edges of counterculture.

First heard on debut album Soundtrack to Reality from 2010, Easton's singular finger-picking guitar style and keen sense of melody has earned him praise from many quarters, including a healthy backing from BBC 6Music and a slot on this year's Bestival lineup.

A lyrical fragment from Soundtrack to Reality track 'Black Monday' provides the title for that album's follow up, The Wink and the Gun. A slightly darker affair, this latest offering sees an almost schizophrenic hopping between some of folk's many sub-genres without coming across as incoherent.

Opener 'Go Quietly' evokes the delicate style of the '60s finger-pickers like Bert Jansch or Davey Graham (an appropriation that crops up more than once on the LP), before 'I Better Put You Down' raises the tempo with a rootsy stomp – a good early choice for a single release.

Laurel Canyon-type harmonies are sprinkled over 'What We're Doing', while 'Tell me to Stay' breaks out the electric guitar, building to a slightly disappointing assimilation of heavy metal balladry.

There are appealing touches of early Iron & Wine, and the Antipodean blues playing of Xavier Rudd is referenced on tracks like 'The Number Seven' and highlight 'Leave it Out'. Too often though, The Wink and the Gun slips into Mumford twee-ness, with a particular run of tracks towards the album's climax at fault. 'Bonfire Stomp' and 'Two Pence Piece' distil Easton's obvious way with a tune into disappointing filler, and even 'All This Time' can only partially remedy the situation with a touching folk ballad.

It's a shame that Easton feels the need to dilute his unique style with slightly bland pastiche on occasion, as he has already proven his strengths elsewhere. Nonetheless, The Wink and the Gun is clearly more hit than miss as a complete album, and one worth getting your hands on.